SAP's long-standing relationship with Mercedes-Benz has seen the HANA in-memory database platform used in the creation of the AMG GT sports car.
Mercedes-AMG, the performance division of the Daimler-owned car maker, had a top-of-the-line AMG GT S on display at SAP's Sapphire Now event in Orlando.
The company used SAP's Business Suite software supported by an on-premise deployment of the HANA platform to manage the productivity and workflow in the development of the car, which is designed to take on the Porsche 911.
A spokeswoman on the Mercedes-AMG stand told V3 that the company had taken the Business Suite, which has SAP's simplified Fiori design, and tweaked it to fit with the carmaker's custom processes and standards.
As a result, Mercedes-AMG set up a system that allowed it to simplify the processes behind optimising the design, development and testing of the AMG GT.
The AMG GT S (pictured below) can generate 502 horsepower from its four-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine, but Mercedes-AMG needed rigorously to test the engine of each car to achieve this and earn the AMG badge.
Testing modern engines requires processing data from hundreds of sensors, which takes nearly an hour on average for each engine.
The AMG GT technicians used the in-memory capabilities of the HANA platform to analyse the data in real time against previous batches gleaned from earlier tests, thereby gaining an insight into how to improve the performance and production of the car.
AMG GT engines are hand-built to order by a single engineer, and it could be argued that such optimisation in the production chain is moot.
However, Mercedes-AMG's use of the HANA platform since late 2012 sees the company use data analytics to improve the quality and reliability, and reduce the cost, of engine testing rather than accelerate the rate of productivity.
Reinhard Breyer, chief information officer at Mercedes-AMG, said that engine testing is improved through the use of performance-tuning hardware from specialist firm Modern Horsepower and software from SAP.
This allows engineers to quickly identify problems uncovered in the testing process of all AMG engines, instead of having to pore over sensor information.
"By combining sensor technology from Modern Horsepower and SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA we get engine testing results in real time," Breyer explained.
"This breakthrough innovation is just the start. Ultimately, we want to monitor engine performance in customer vehicles."
Mercedes is no stranger to exploring technology to both create and be used within its cars. Earlier this year at CES 2015 Mercedes revealed the F 015 driverless car, offering potential luxury alternative to Google's driverless car.
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