Last Updated on April 8, 2016
Car design is the inspiration behind every vehicle on the road today. No matter whether the vehicle is a sporty Mustang or a large freight truck, the design process for each vehicle design is similar. All vehicle manufacturers go through similar steps to create the vehicles that we see on the road today. The process of designing a car is extremely important and requires a huge amount of research and testing before they are released to the public. Most vehicle manufacturers go through a similar process to get their designs onto the road.
Stage 1: Planning and specifications
The first stage of car design is the planning process. A team of people determine what features and specifications they want in the new vehicle. Usually, the car manufacturer has a specific plan in mind, such as an eco-friendly car, a high-powered truck, or a family-friendly vehicle that will provide the highest safety values of any other car. The team of designers works for several months, or even years, on the exact specifications and features that they want to include in the car design. An initial blueprint drawing may also be developed during this stage.
Stage 2: Concept design
During concept design, further drawings and blueprints for the vehicle are created. The team will add various details and specifications to the concept design during a period of several months. The design will eventually be made using a CAD computer model, which can create a precise representation of the design from the inside of the vehicle to the completed outside design.
Stage 3: Market research
After the concept is in place, the company conducts market research on the vehicle. Market research includes gathering the opinions of test customers in the market for that kind of vehicle. The customers will take a look at the models design and specifications and rate the vehicle according to how they feel about it. During this stage, many modifications are made to the design and many different physical models of the vehicle are produced.
Stage 4: Test car
After the market research is complete, the company will manufacture a fully functional concept vehicle. A company may create one concept car, or they may create several versions with varying details to identify the best vehicle with the most popular features and appearance. The test car is sent through a variety of tests for safety, speed, handling, and other tests. The concept vehicles are reviewed by potential customers, competitors, and professional vehicle reviewers to isolate the best version of the vehicle and the one that is most likely to sell the best in the public market.
Stage 5: Final design
After a car manufacturer chooses the best design, they create a final concept car with any changes made during the test stage. During the final design stage, small cosmetic tweaks may still be made to the vehicle. The manufacturer will create more models and prototypes and send the final design through many additional tests. During this testing period, the company also gets feedback from professional vehicle reviewers and customers.
When the final design has full approval, the company then moves on to manufacturing the new vehicle. Typically, this entire process takes years from original concept design to the actual sale of the vehicle. This helps protect the customers from unsafe vehicles and it also helps protect the car manufacturer from creating a vehicle that customers do not want to purchase. Since it takes so long for vehicles to go through design and production, it is no wonder that it sometimes seems like it takes forever for new innovations and features to become standard on new vehicles, such as more fuel-efficient vehicles.
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