1.0 Scope of Technology Management
Technology management can be defined as an integrated planning, design, optimization, operation, and control of the technological products, processes and services. In other words, technology management means the management of the use of the technology for human advantage. Car simulator is a device that enable the manufacturer to reproduce or represent under the test conditions phenomena that likely to occur under the real-time condition. In car simulator there is 3 main products, which is engine dynamometer, chassis dynamometer, and driving simulator.
In technology management, there is 3 scopes that is commonly considered, which is technology management and the company, technology management and the nation, and last but not least, technology management and society.
The first scope, technology management and the company means how a business can manage their technology for competitiveness and business success. In the age where a company who has the better technology can get over one another, having technology that is on par with the competitors is absolutely essential to success. In the car manufacturing industry, having a simulator that is good enough is important for them to be able to produce a good car and better their rivals.
The next scope is the technology management and the nation. This scope means that how a country or region can use technology to enhance the competitiveness of the businesses that is operate in it, for economics and create wealth among its people. In car industry, if a company have a cutting edge simulator in terms of engine dynamometer, chassis dynamometer, and crash test model, they can use these simulators to maximize every gain that is possible to make sure that their car is competitive enough against their competitors. For instance, if all the car simulators of Perodua works well and showing good performance, that means they are able to produce a better car and will manage to get good sales out of it, which will manage to get profit for the country and at the same time, create wealth among all people.
Last but not least is technology management and society. This scope means that how does a company ensure that technology is managed for the good of people and the environment, and to minimize any negative effects. With more and more emphasizes nowadays on the more environmental friendly car with low fuel consumption, the company need to have the simulator that is able to test how the engine perform, and if the engine is release the smoke that is harmful to the environment. For these, the car company has to bear full responsibility by maximize all their gains on the simulators to make sure they can produce a car that fulfill the needs of present day and at the same time, minimizes all the negative effect that is possible to the society and environment.
2.0 Product Life Cycle Concepts
Product life cycle is the cycle that every product will experience from its first introduction stage till it started to shrink in the market. The cycle divided into 4 stages which are introduction, growth, maturity and last will be the decline stage.
The first stage is introduction stage. In this stage an automotive company will start to produce and launch a new product to the market. This stage might be the most expensive for them to develop a newly invented or transformed product. Before the company launch the new automotive product, there are many preparations need to be done such as research and development, test model, car simulation and etcetera. During the preparation, they probably will face with financial losses. An auto company will offer the special characterization of the product to make it has good selling in the market. For example recently Proton Myvi had been released in the market and special characterization such as Advanced Safety Assist (ASA), pre-collision warning, pedal misoperation control and more attracted by many people at the time it launched. Besides, it also gets the Target five-star ASEAN NCAP crash test rating for the crash test model. All of the success strategic will make the new product able to stand out in the market and there consists few or no competitors during this stage.
Next, the following stage is growth stage. The growth stage is characterized by powerful sales and profit. The company start to gain their interest from the increasing sales. The company will meet the greater numbers of consumers and competitors as the sales of the product is raising. In this stage, the company would not going to focus on the product features but on the brand differentiation since competitors appear. The price of product will become the main issue between the brands and companies. They start to invest more money in the promotional activities and try to maximize the potential of this stage. If other brand provides the same features, the company will try to offer cash rebates, extend the warranty, discount and more. For instance, Nissan had offer RM5000 cash rebates for customers who bought their Nissan Almera car during the Chinese New Year period or end of the year.
The third stage is maturity. During this stage, the product is publicly known by people. The purpose of the seller now is to maintain the market share they have built up. However, the slower growth and ruthless competition between the companies occurred because the similar products are exceeding the demand in the market. The companies go through the promotion war and competitive price to gain their sales among their competitors. They also need to concentrate on the most critical things like reposition their brand and market segmentation in this stage. As the number of competitors increased and become stable in the market, the company have to think out some improvement or modifications to their product to raise their competiveness. The improved product will be a strategy to attract customer to purchase it.
Last but not least is the decline stage. At last, the product will start to shrink in the market. The companies are not longer to enjoy their peak sales and high profit when the market is becoming saturated. Most of the customers already purchased the product and change their preferences. The product with newer technology and features will be the new focus in the market. The only way for the companies to turn the situation is to sell all the prior-year products with the steep discounts and rebates for customers. They try to make some profit to sell the product cheaper instead of loss their business.
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3.0 Technology Innovation Stages
A series of process which used to implement all the improvement, changes, develop a new product or services is called technology innovation stages. There are various different stages where different process is carry out in order to innovate the product.
First and foremost is basic research. This kind of research only exist in major company, in this case is major car manufacturer doing a basic research about what do they want from their driving simulator and what do they need. For example, they do a basic research about what the simulator want to simulate, in terms of car functions, driving and driver safety. Next, they will do an applied research on it. When the manufacturer managed to detect an opportunity for them to build on something that might give them a competitive advantage, they will do their best to find the way to resolve this problem. For instances, a car manufacturer realized after a basic research that there is not a lot of simulators on the market that integrate the function of chassis dynamometer, to evaluate how a car can sustain the impact during a crash in the simulator. Hence, they take the advantage and going towards that direction.
Next stage is development stage, which the manufacturers starts to develop a lot of different prototype, with different kind of performance level on offer, and also different function with different development direction as well. Now the test team will start to test these prototypes to see which direction of development that the manufacturer can heading with. After that is engineering stage, where after the test team decides which way the manufacturer should develop their simulator for their new car?they need to find all the materials that is needed to build this simulator. During this time, all the experts from different departments within the manufacturer to give valuable inputs in order to make sure that the development is in the right direction and suits everyone needs.
Next, after the engineering stages is the manufacturing stages, where the manufacturers turn their attention to build the actual simulator. This is the most important process in all of the technological innovation stages, and they need to get it right after all those hard work beforehand. In this stage, manufacturer turn their attention into build a suitable simulator to accurately stimulate the performance and safety features of the new car. This stage is so important because the end product will be the one that being uses to build their new car, testing all the new features and so on. Last but not least is the continuous improvement, to ensure the simulators keep add in new features in order to produce better car for the public.
The car market is getting more and more competitive nowadays. So every manufacturer has worked hard to have a cutting edge simulator with them to ensure they have the edge against their competitors. The competitive field of the automotive market is far away from traditional category based on company’s production systems. The evolution of product innovation has huge connection between the spectrum of product and service categories and industries. For example, the U.S automotive industry is facing a new and difficult period of competition with the automotive industry in Japan.
A dyno is a device used to measuring force, torque or power. Dyno is useful to develop and refine engine technology. The function of dyno is to measure and make comparison between power transfers at different point on a vehicle and allow the engine of the cars to be modified then get more efficient power transfer. Every automotive company will use different type of engine dyno to test their products before launch. Dynamometers can classified into two types which are power absorption dynamometers and power transmission dynamometers. Every company is using the different engine dyno and setting for the test. The final product is different due to the dyno system. In order to survive in this competitive market, the manufacturers will refine and make their dyno system better to test the engine of their product and ensure that their products are competitive compared to other brands.
Next is car driving simulator. Driving simulators are used to entertainment or training the new driver. Besides, people also use driving simulator to do research in car industry to design and assess new vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Driving simulation divided into 3 types which are Entertainment DIL, Human Factors DIL and Vehicle Dynamics DIL. Manufacturers such as BMW, Ford, Renault and etcetera operate the driving simulators as a development process for their products. For instance, they use it in the car projectors development as the car projectors are tested with virtual prototypes before build any physical prototype. Before this, they always waste costs and time when they build an unsuitable accessory or component on the vehicle. This brings benefit to manufacturers and suppliers as they can reduce their production costs and delay.
Third is crash test model. Crash test is a form destructive testing usually performed in order to ensure safe design standards in crashworthiness and crash compatibility for various modes of transportation or related systems and components. There consists of many kinds of test model: moderate overlap tests, small overlap tests, side-impact tests and more. For instance, Toyota had been used the Frontal moderate overlap crash test for its Toyota Tundra in 2016. The vehicle is tested to impact a solid concrete wall at a specified speed. As conclusion, every manufacturer use different crash test to examine their cars so that their products can be competitive in the market.
5.0 Technology innovation and Commercialization
Technology innovation is always going to surprise everyone, from the customer to the marketers themselves. Every company does constantly find the way to innovate their product to ensure their newest innovation is getting better compared to their predecessor. It is the same case to every car manufacturer, to keep improving their driving simulator, engine dyno and chassis dyno, to ensure that they can produce the best car as they possibly can.
The simulators had innovated a lot from the past decade. Driving simulators nowadays is more complete than ever. In the past, the driving simulator would simply just be able to let the tester to drive the car around without really know how the car is functioning. However, the latest innovation has seen the driving simulator can do a lot of things, such as sense the fatigue of the driver, in-vehicle modules that could prevent fatality or serious injuries. Engine dyno simulator nowadays also can test the efficiency level of engine at the different fuel load and speed. While the chassis dyno simulator can test the level of impact that a chassis can sustain before eventually crack, to make sure the survival cell of the car as strong as possible.
Despite there is car manufacturer that actually has their own specially crafted software, they are also a lot of simulator manufacturer in the market, that offer plenty of option to the big manufacturers to buy in and use it as another reference point and indicator about how their car is going to behave. There are plenty of independent simulators manufacturers that has commercialized their product to the market. Key vendors and independent simulators manufacturer are Dallara, Ansiben Motion, Cruden, Mechanical Simulation, Moog and OKTAL. At present, the revenue that these manufacturers garner from simulators are roughly less than $100 million per year, and was expected by the experts to earn revenue of $134 million by the year 2021.
The independent simulators manufacturers are commercializing their driving simulators through their own website, through online advertising and presenting their products to the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), hoping for manufacturers to buy their product and integrate it into their very own driving simulators. When they pitch the idea to the manufacturer, they will distribute the flyers regarding the functions and strength of the simulators to everyone involved, in order to let everyone knows about this product, hence purchase it for manufacturer testing purpose.
6.0 Technology Transfer
Technology transfer is a permits that flow of technology from a source to a receiver. Also, technology transfer is a process essential for the wide application and utilization of technology by one or more users. The source in this case is the owner or holder of the knowledge, while the recipient is the beneficiary of such knowledge. Technology transfer will occurs together various axes like among universities, from universities to businesses, from government to businesses, both formally and informally, and both openly and surreptitiously. Furthermore, technology transfer plays a central role in bringing these ideas from the lab to the market.
The objective of technology acquisition has an important bearing on the model of technology transfer. If technology borrowers have a sound financial base and want to develop a strong technology base, then long-term collaboration with restricted management control has proved to be effective in most of the cases. Firms with a sound technology base and developed capabilities to absorb technology may go in for one off technology transfer. Firms, which are looking for strong technological, managerial and financial support, and are desirous to become technology leaders in their home country, are going in for continuing and active transfer of technology.
The importance of technology transfer is commercialization of university-discovered technologies is a driver of economic growth and universities have played a major role in bringing innovative ideas and inventions to market. Technology transfer can potentially generate revenues for universities, create research connections between academia and industry, and enhance regional economic growth and development. Therefore the development and transfer of knowledge and technology has been and will continue to be critical to success in all types of industries. For example, the FAW-Volkswagen Automobile was established in 1991, it is a joint venture passenger carmaker between FAW Group Corporation (share investments of 60%) and Volkswagen AG (share investments of 40%). FAW-Volkswagen adopts advanced technologies and equipment to manufacture some of the world’s most famous brands –Passat CC; Jetta; Bora; Golf; Caddy; Sagitar and Audi(FAW). FAW-VW is that the technology of car manufacturing for example to laser-welding technology has been transferred from foreign automakers. More specifically, different modules of vehicles require different technologies. Thus, when the domestic automakers are going to produce new types of cars, the related technologies will be transferred.
Car simulators are used for entertainment as well as in training of driver’s education courses taught in educational institutions and private businesses. In technology innovation stages is represents the birth of new product or process resulting from R;D activities. So, it will spending the more of money to create the technology. An innovation has been implemented if it has been introduced on the market. Innovation is any system of organized activities that transforms a technology from idea to commercialization. Innovation involves the creation of a product, service, or process that is new to an organization.
Besides, driving simulators are used at research facilities for many purposes. The Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto use the Virage Simulation VS500M driving simulator to study and measure the effects of cannabis on driving. Many vehicle manufacturers operate driving simulators, like BMW, Ford, Renault. Many universities also operate simulators for research. In addition to studying driver training issues, driving simulators allow researchers to study driver behavior under conditions in which it would be illegal and or unethical to place drivers. For instance, studies of driver distraction would be dangerous and unethical (because of the inability to obtain informed consent from other drivers) to do on the road.
The uses of car simulator is can novice driver training and testing, testing the effects of impairment on driver performance and analysis of driver behaviors. For example, drivers’ against emergency braking of leading vehicle. Test Method using the Driving Simulator Drivers’ behavior against emergency braking of the leading vehicle was investigated in this test using by the JARI driving simulator to avoid real collision to the leading vehicle. As the computer graphics of the driving simulator creates the virtual leading vehicle, the subjects drives the car simulated by the driving simulator to follow the leading vehicle. When the vehicle is stop, the subjects are allowed to operate steering and or braking. The leading vehicle is turns left or right in accordance with a driver’s steering action. Thus, unless the driver puts on the brake, the following vehicle that the driver operates necessarily collides with the leading vehicle. We did not inform the subjects of this matter. Driving conditions in the driving simulator must be set for the actual situations in order to adjust experimental results to that by a real vehicle. In this test the headway distance measured by laser radar was defined as the reference distance. We let the subjects keep the similar headway distance to the reference distance on the driving simulator.
7.0 Technology and Business Strategy
A technology strategy can also be called an information strategy or an IT strategy. The entire plan contains many goals, principles, and policies related to the use of technology within a specific organization. One of the strategies focuses first on the technology itself and, in some cases, on the people who directly manage these technologies. Strategy can be hinted at from the organization’s technical decision-making behavior, it can also be written in the document.
The business strategy is to formulate and implement the main goals and initiatives taken by the senior management of the company on behalf of the owners, and consider the resources and assessment of the internal and external environment of the organization’s competition. Strategic management provides companies with comprehensive guidance, including clear organizational goals, formulating policies and plans to achieve these goals, and then allocating resources to implement the plan. Academics and practitioner managers have developed numerous models and frameworks to assist in strategic decision making in the context of complex environments and competitive dynamics. Strategic management is not static in nature; these models usually include a feedback loop to monitor execution and inform the next round of planning.
Car simulators are used at research facilities for many purposes. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto use the Virage Simulation VS500M driving simulator to study and measure the effects of cannabis on driving (Alex Ballingall, Toronto Star. Nov. 26, 2015). Many vehicle manufacturers operate driving simulators, e.g. BMW, Ford, Renault. Many universities also operate simulators for research. In addition to studying driver training issues, driving simulators allow researchers to study driver behaviour under conditions in which it would be illegal and/or unethical to place drivers. For instance, studies of driver distraction would be dangerous and unethical (because of the inability to obtain informed consent from other drivers) to do on the road.
Car simulator are used for entertainment other than in training of driver’s education courses which taught in educational institutions or private businesses. Typically, such a device includes a human–machine-interface (HMI) to accommodate interaction between driver and device. This interaction may involve visual, audio, or tactile input (display) to the driver; and provide for driver output that is usually either manual or voice (speaking). Because such interfaces involve a human driver with all of the driver’s possible complexity and variability, an experimental approach using a driving simulator to developing and accessing an HMI can be very useful.
Other than that, they are also used this simulator for research purpose in the human factors and medical research area. This is because they want to monitor driver behavior, performance, and attention and in the car industry to design and whether evaluate new vehicles or new advanced driver assist systems. For example, a new car has an assist system before come out to the market and aim to decrease the potential of mistake and test to make sure that whether it can satisfy the requirement or not.
Furthermore, they using methods such as use addresses the need to study and evaluate the characteristics of a candidate of HMI early in the R&D and design stage to ensure that it is to meet all around objectives and requirements, and to revise the HMI as may be necessary. Those HMI requirements include such things as usability, driver comfort, and an acceptable level of attentional demand in dual task conditions (driving while using an HMI).