For the last three decades, the Karlsruhe-based company, IPG Automotive, has always been rated among the top companies in the vehicle dynamics simulation and virtual test drive fields and has established itself in terms of innovation and quality for both its software and hardware products. The company was founded on 10th July 1984, and the first operational transactions were recorded in autumn 30 years ago. The anniversary will be marked with a number of events throughout the year that will include numerous employee interviews and a publication of the company's history.
The company was founded 30 years ago by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rolf Gnadler, from the former University of Karlsruhe (TH) that is now known as the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT), in conjunction with his assistants, Dr.-Ing. Andreas Riedel and Dr.-Ing. Alexander Schmidt. They founded the IPG ("Engineering Association Prof. Dr. R. Gnadler GmbH") based on a project at the university. Initially, the main focus was classical vehicle dynamics and control systems. These core areas were constantly expanded over time and new methods and innovations were integrated. In 2003, IPG finally became IPG Automotive.
In the course of celebrating the 30th anniversary, Dr.-Ing. Alexander Schmidt, in an interview, is reminiscent of the beginning and talks about the challenges facing the automotive industry as well as future expectations.
Excerpt from the interview with Dr.-Ing. Alexander Schmidt:
Mr. Schmidt, I am sure you are often asked: What does IPG does stand for?
That was an abbreviation that, interestingly, was "made up" by our customers as they found the real name to be too long. In July 1984, the "Engineering Association Prof. Dr.-Ing. R. Gnadler GmbH" was founded, but, after a while, everyone just referred to it as IPG. […]
How would you describe the development of IPG over the years?
We have always moved forward and are always interested in new technology. In the automotive industry, we have, at times, presented things that people had initially never heard of. After the initial development phase, we came to recognize the actual need of our own products. Our first products were IPGTire and IPGDriver. In 1989, the first Hardware in the Loop testing bench was developed, and I can proudly say that we are among the pioneers of the HIL method and vehicle dynamics simulation.
Read the complete interview here.
As part of the welcome all participants will get a brief look at the company's history. Besides the recent development of the company and the vehicle dynamics simulation, the future of the virtual test driving will also be focused on at the apply & innovate on 23rd and 24th September 2014 in Karlsruhe. Many presentations will focus on showing how virtual test drives can aid in vehicle development. In addition to many other future-oriented technologies, testing and validation of partially and fully automated driving functions remains to be of key importance.
Virtual test driving with CarMaker makes it possible to optimize the development process due to the much shorter development times, more variations, and numerous technical innovations. Currently, it is possible to run tests on functions that have not yet been integrated in a real prototype or applied in any standard vehicle. The design phase has been made much easier for vehicle manufacturers, as it is now possible for the development engineer to run virtual tests on vehicle components in the early development stages i.e. before they are physically available. The open integration and testing platforms enable continuous application in vehicle development. New test methods, such as the most-recently developed "Vehicle in the Loop" method i.e. the embedding of a real vehicle in a virtual environment, clearly show the innovative spirit in the company. Since the beginning, the company can only look back at continuous and significant growth. Currently, IPG Automotive has over 80 employees, and the IPG Automotive K.K subsidiary was founded in Japan in June 2014. Since 2013, the co-founder, Dr.-Ing. Alexander Schmidt, and his son, Steffen Schmidt, are joint managing directors of the owner-operated mid-sized company.