The automotive industry works with so-called samples (A,B,C,D), providing components under development as prototypes with increasing functionality and integrating them in test vehicles. The sample phases are defined as follows (for details see section 2.2.2):
A-Sample: functional prototypes, usually with limited drivability and low degree of maturity
B-Sample: functional, basic prototypes with full drivability and a high level of maturity. They may be created using pilot tools.
C-Sample: fully functional sample manufactured with series production tools
D-Sample: same as C-Sample, provided by suppliers for the purpose of the design sample release
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