Aerodynamic Development

Q. What is aerodynamics in automobile development?

The aerodynamic design is to control airflow around a vehicle to increase its performance. This is a feature of the vehicle’s aerodynamic design.There are various performance indicators. Force applied to the exterior of the car, such as fuel efficiency and driving stability, force control applied to the external (body) surface, and control of rotational energy, called moment, are done in force-related design.Not only that but also heat energy related to cars. We can control the flow of air well when we need to cool something by sending air into it and cooling it with air. Then there are the ※ADAS-related cameras.
To avoid mud sticking to the front of the camera, the airflow around the car must be designed to avoid mud sticking to the front of the car. There are many complex factors, and the aerodynamic design of the car is to control the airflow so that these factors are harmonized and satisfied.

※Advanced driver-assistance system

Q. Aerodynamic development of electric vehicles

I wonder what customers will consider when buying an electric vehicle, but I believe one indicator is the balance between cost and cruising range.
One of the characteristics of EVs is that the energy density of the battery is not as high as that of gasoline-powered vehicles, so the cruising range tends to be shorter.
Of course, it would be better to have a lot of batteries, but this would inevitably have the adverse effect of increasing the price and weight. For this reason, I believe that improving power costs to enable the car to run a long distance with a small amount of energy is a very important benchmark in terms of improving its product appeal.
This is where aerodynamic design comes into play in lowering air resistance.
I believe that this is one of the trends in the aerodynamic development of electric vehicles, as companies are actively working on this, especially for electric vehicles, to reduce the aerodynamic resistance to a great extent.

Q. How is aerodynamic development being promoted?

Aerodynamic test wind tunnel equipments are very important. When conducting wind tunnel testing itself, a real car or a model of a real car inevitably must be built. Due to the cost and lead time involved, we are developing aerodynamics with an emphasis on ※※CFD, which is the calculation of fluids using computers.

※※Computational Fluid Dynamics

We are focusing on areas where aerodynamics development has not been practiced so far. We will provide our simulation technology to those areas and companies other than automotive companies. We believe that this will be one of the solutions in future.

Q. Application of GLM’s Fluid Analysis in various fields

In addition to airflow, if we see fluid, air, water, and oil flow more broadly, many companies want to improve the design of home appliances, food heat and other processes that involve the flow of fluid and heat. I believe we can offer simulation technology as a versatile service to such companies.


Junichi Fukui
Born in 1984, from Nara.
After obtaining a doctorate in engineering, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and then engaged in fluid analysis and optimization at domestic and foreign CAE vendors.
He has interacted and grown with numerous engineers in the automotive, heavy industry, consumer electronics, food, and other fields.
At GLM, he was in charge of the aerodynamic design of the Tommykaira ZZ Pikes Peak and the development of CAE design methods. His hobby is motorcycle overhaul.