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Since offering a virtual Tesla Model X crossover, Caresoft Global has scanned other top-class electric vehicles such as the Chevrolet Bolt (right) and the Tesla Model 3.

DETROIT – Disassembling vehicle parts after another has long been a way for automakers to gain insights into the latest models of their competitors.

However, engineering firm Caresoft Global Inc. has a much simpler, faster and cheaper way to achieve the same goal. With virtual teardown technology, automakers can save millions of dollars and hours on valuable product development time.

Caresoft engineers use high-tech 3D scans to digitally dissect vehicles – down to individual battery cells, wires, and screws – and sell the data to curious automakers and suppliers for up to half a million dollars. The company's software can also provide information about the materials used and the cost of each vehicle component.

"You have never seen such a car of a competitor," said Caresoft boss Mathew Vachaparampil Automotive News, "Is the technology perfect? ​​No, but it's the best in the world today."

The company was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Detroit. Since then, Tesla has virtually offered the Model X Crossover and since then has been scanning other high-profile electric vehicles such as the Chevrolet Bolt and the Tesla Model 3. It is planning the Jaguar I-Pace and other vehicles.

The auto industry notes.

Create 3D renderings

Caresoft has signed contracts with more than 20 automakers and a number of Tier 1 suppliers worldwide. Ford Motor Co., which has acquired Caresoft data for a range of vehicles, recently awarded the company a World Excellence Award in the Smart Brand Pillar of Technology and Innovation category. Caresoft is also a finalist at the Automotive News PACE Awards 2019.

In a statement after the Ford award ceremony, Hau Thai-Tang, head of product development and purchasing at the automaker, said Caresoft was the kind of supplier "key to Ford's continued success."

Caresoft takes four to five months to scan a vehicle, a process that can cost millions of dollars. Once completed, the software creates 3D renderings of the vehicle and any parts that are up to 0.35 millimeters or 0.01 inches accurate.

Users can "explode" the vehicle to see individual components or cut it in half to see how it all fits together. You can analyze how battery cells are designed or why certain welds or bonding processes have been used. Certain programs may also perform external aerodynamic simulations or crash analyzes.

Mathew Vachaparampil, center of Caresoft Global, celebrates Ford Motor Co.'s World Excellence Award with automaker Joe Hinrichs (left) and Hau Thai-Tang.

Meet rivals

Software cost comparison information may include individual part numbers, the manufacturer from which they originate, and other detailed information that automakers can use to reduce costs.

Vachaparampil said Caresoft has advanced advanced vehicle wear technology in the same way that Apple is revolutionizing iPhone phones.

Sharing the information about breaking up with other car manufacturers does not violate intellectual property. Caresoft simply buys production vehicles and shows what everyone can see.

"We'll tell you what they did, we'll give you the information," Vachaparampil said. If an automaker "decides to copy it and infringe a patent, the problem starts."

Competitors' understanding is becoming increasingly important to car manufacturers as powertrains change and vehicles are filled with more technology.

An Advantage of Caresoft Technology: Engineering teams from around the world can simultaneously view vehicle information through virtual reality or through 3D renderings on a computer so they can make decisions more quickly.

"Today it's not about knowledge and not about money in the market," said Vachaparampil. "It's speed."

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