Computerized Automotive Technology Reconfiguration System for Mass Customization

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  Project objectives  

- customization database structure and functionality with exemplary product data for vehicle configuration (Do-It-Yourself Design);
- web user interface for mass customization, powered by citarasa technology, to support the customer in vehicle configuration tasks, taking into account emotional and functional criteria;
- corresponding low-cost immersive (Virtual Reality) interface for vehicle mass customization, allowing for a high-quality stereoscopic view of the product and its components, to facilitate the sales process;
- tear-down database to support the automotive product development and benchmarks for both vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers. The teardown database will consist of at least 2 different vehicle models per OEM, including for each model data for at least 6 critical components, as identified and prioritised within WP2.
- inter-linked database structure and software architecture based on the above mentioned components, which supports the N-business paradigm, taking into account the needs of all stakeholders in automotive N-business processes (namely car buyers, sales point, market departments, design engineers, part suppliers.



- Design web-based reconfiguration models for collaborative product customization.
- Develop e-catalogues for digital customizer.
- Design and develop Web do-it-yourself design (DIYD) system for vehicle design.
- Design and develop the accompanying administration tool of the DIYD system.
- Design and develop the front-end application.
- Integration of the ontology-based mechanism for vehicle customizations in the DIYD system.
- Integrate system with other CATER databases.


-FhG-IAO, Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering, (DE)
- CERTH, Center for Research and Technology Hellas (GR)
- ICIDO, Institute for Innovative Information System mbH (DE)
- University of Basel, Centre of Applied
Technologies (CH)
- UWASA - University of Vaasa, (FI)
- Damai Sciences Sdn Bhd (Malaysia)
- University Malaysia Sarawak (Malaysia)
- NTU, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)
- Sigma Consultants (FR)
- University of Nottingham (UK)
- Centro Ricerche Fiat (I)
- Volvo Technology Corporation (SE)
- Universität Stuttgart, Institute for Human Factors and Technology Management (DE)


Automotive enterprises are becoming more customer-centric to meet today’s challenging market demands. Thus, mass customization adds industrial value to the enterprise in order to gain competitive advantage. This calls for restructured B2C relations and related new technologies. The automotive industry has furthermore become highly networked and requires improved communication on products and components in relation to its Business to Business relations. In this context, CATER is specially tailored to bridge the gaps in the existing ICT world in industries through delivery of an integrated system that caters to the needs of customers, manufacturers and suppliers.

There are three major aspects of the proposal :
First, CATER is a design philosophy that showcases the best practices of networked business (N-business). The ultimate goals of N-business is to achieve mass customization over the Internet through coherently integrating manufacturing production automation with supply chain management and sales-service support into a collaborative web of interactive commerce.
Second, CATER introduces ICT innovations in various business processes of product development that can enhance customer relationship management, while supporting the needs of concurrent engineering teams, beyond existing practices of the industry.
Third, CATER demonstrates the need for a semantic driven system that ties together customers, designers and suppliers in a collaborative and mutually supporting endeavour. Customers must be supported in their online customization of cars or other vehicles; their affective and cognitive needs must be addressed with the support of e-catalogues of design options that can be configured easily while meeting their preferences, tastes and styles. Designers, on the other hand, need to be supported in their design activities by the teardown and design history management systems so that they can provide reliable and timely solutions.

CERTH/ITI responsabilities include :

Design of the Web based DIYD system:
A web based DIYD system will be developed, that allows different levels of abstraction, depending on the desired
operation. The core of the system will consist of a “smart” configurator that will allow mass vehicle customizations. These customizations may range from high level of abstraction, based on design conceptualizations (i.e. vehicle interior, body, accessories, etc), to low-level part selection. The back end of the system will be realized in the form of a component repository that can be accessed through an ontology-based mechanism, using semantic notation and thematic taxonomies. The front end of the system will utilize a virtual reality interface and a set of interactive tools that will allow the user to visualize and perform the process of design and assembly in an intuitive manner.

Development of the administration tool:
In order to maintain, monitor and co-ordinate transactions with the system, an administration tool will be developed to provide the automotive industry operators with facilities, such as teardown and vehicle customization transactions monitoring and statistical logging, user administration and profile management, interface and interaction authoring, customization and personalization. Furthermore, as new vehicle models are supported by the system, the administrative operators must be able to easily update parts and publish those changes to the end-user application in a seamless fashion that ensures the system’s expandability.