Driving in the rain can be an anxiety provoking experience, as visibility is significantly reduced even in a light shower. Now, though, manufacturers could start making wet-weather driving much less stressful.
Digital simulations have long been used in various stages of the design process. And a new type of sim allows manufacturers to accurately map out how things such as water, dirt and salt flow along a vehicle’s surface.
The models show where the contaminants are reducing visibility by sticking to cars’ bodies, as well as where the spray is most heavily impacting the sight of a following motorist.
All manufacturers use aerodynamic simulations such as computational fluid dynamics to map their vehicles’ air flows, but those aren’t indicative of the paths contaminants will take.
Land Rover said it ran 1,000 hours of simulations when designing the new Discovery, allowing it to make design changes before conducting real-world tests, according to Autoblog. If more automakers begin employing this same technique, it likely could dramatically improve driving in the rain for everybody on the road.