Eliminating months of development work and saving big bucks is becoming a reality at Visteon Corp. — or at least, a virtual reality.

The supplier has teamed with Electronic Data Systems to combine computer-aided engineering and virtual reality simulation at its new Troy, MI-based Visualization and Simulation laboratory. The facility allows Visteon to observe and make instantaneous, real-time changes at any stage of the vehicle design process, dramatically accelerating development.

The full-scale lab employs virtual analytical tools such as GENPAD (Generic Ergonomically Nimble Parametric Automated Design), a three-dimensional solid modeling computer tool that enables the quick customization of several different automotive interiors. GENPAD creates “occupant friendly interiors” and evaluates the impact of its products on more than 50 different human factors, such as passenger comfort and occupant safety.

Visteon's Vehicle Systems Thermal Management allows the design of smaller and more energy-efficient climate-control systems. And Unified Parametric Vehicle (UPV) software applications, Visteon says, can create virtual models of engine thermal management that predict real-world performance before having to build costly prototypes.