Darmstadt, May 27, 2021 - VI-grade, a leading provider of best-in-class software products and services for advanced applications in the field of system level simulation, announced today that over 2,000 attendees registered to the virtual ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit, held May 20-21, 2021. This represents a significant increase from 2020’s virtual event. 100% of attendees surveyed after the summit indicated their intent to attend VI-grade’s 2022 event, thereby offering a ringing endorsement of the valuable insights and information provided by the ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit.
Targeted at innovators in the global automotive industry, the free-of-charge 2-day Summit provided VI-grade customers and technology partners with a high caliber forum showcasing how leading automotive companies employ VI-grade’s software and simulation solutions to solve complex product development challenges. Keynote speakers on Day 1 included Audi Sport, NIO, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Stellantis, and Multimatic. VI-grade customer presentations from CEVT, Mercedes-AMG, Bentley and Politecnico di Milano addressed use cases in Powertrain, Vehicle Dynamics, NVH and HMI disciplines.
Held virtually again this year due to the covid-19 pandemic, the ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit was carefully designed and programmed to give all participants – presenters, sponsors, and users – ample opportunities for learning about and sharing new technologies, as well as networking.
The ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit was also a platform for announcements pertaining to VI-grade’s product development achievements and acquisitions:
Increasing accessibility of VI-grade’s technology through a global network of SimCenters where customers can rent VI-grade driving simulators. Located in Udine, Italy; Millbrook, UK; Detroit, MI; and Tokyo, Japan. Joining those ranks in 2021 will be VI-grade’s first SimCenter in China in conjunction with partner, Idiada. It will be located at the LingLong Tire proving ground in Yantai, Shandong province.
Product innovations & enhancements including:
a revolutionary extension of VI-grade’s simulator product line based on cable-driven technology
new features in VI-WorldSim, the revolutionary simulation software product allowing simulating ADAS and autonomous vehicles
VI-Certified, a program that expands the ecosystem of complementary products and services that work together with our simulators
high-fidelity NVH reproduction capabilities on the new COMPACT NVH Simulator
VI-grade’s efforts in terms of acquisitions: Pending regulatory approval, VI-grade’s parent company, Spectris, recently announced the acquisition of Concurrent Real-Time, the real-time platform provider for VI-grade technology for many years. This comes on the heels of acquisitions in 2019 of Righthook and in 2020 of the NVH simulator team from Brüel & Kjær and the acquisition of Imtec, a leader in mechatronics and automation.
“We were delighted to welcome so many attendees to the ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit this year” said VI-grade President, Bob Ryan. “The sheer number of registrations for the Summit is a clear indication that the automotive industry sees enormous value in the use of VI-grade’s driver-in-the-loop vehicle simulators for accelerating the development process and was eager to learn more about our future product development roadmap and acquisition plans,” he continued.
Darmstadt, May 12, 2021 - VI-grade, a leading provider of best-in-class software products and services for advanced applications in the field of system level simulation, today announced a milestone in the current number of registrations as well as the final agenda for the “2021 Zero Prototypes Summit”. The event will be held on May 20 - 21 2021, beginning daily at 2pm Central European Standard Time (CEST) / 10am Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).
The event builds on the success of VI-grade’s previous virtual events and boasts an impressive slate of global innovators and thought-leaders from industry-leading companies employing VI-grade’s simulation software and driving simulators to accelerate their vehicle development processes. The first day of the summit is fully dedicated to Voice of the Customer presentations, featuring keynote and technical presentations from Goodyear, Multimatic, NIO, Stellantis, Mercedes-AMG, Bentley Motors Limited, CEVT and Politecnico di Milano. On the second day, VI-grade’s technical partners will share and discuss their current projects in dedicated break-out sessions, including presentations from cosin scientific software, Fraunhofer Institut ITWM, MegaRide, Danisi Engineering, Applus+ IDIADA, HORIBA MIRA, 3D Mapping, MSC Software, rescale, HBK, BlackBerry QNX and Smart Eye. These sessions will be followed by 5 virtual discipline-specific Roundtables on Ride & Handling, Motorsport, ADAS, HMI and NVH, led by top-class moderators and panelists.
The free-of-charge event also boasts a fully functional virtual exhibition area where all VI-grade sponsors and partners have the opportunity to showcase their solutions to all participants.
“The past year has been difficult for everyone in the global business community because of the challenges presented by Covid-19. We are overwhelmed by the high degree of interest from our community and the number of registrations for our 2021 ZERO PROTOTYPES SUMMIT”, said Guido Bairati, Vice President Global Sales & Marketing, VI-grade.“We especially look forward to providing our valued customers, partners and followers with exclusive insights into how the major players in the worldwide automotive industry currently use simulation and driving simulators to push the envelope and accelerate the development of new vehicles, thus enabling them to get ever closer to virtual sign-off.”
Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Europe’s leading automotive engineering consultancy, HORIBA MIRA, today confirmed that its Vehicle Attribute Development Team had concluded an investment in a new VI-grade COMPACT Simulator to underscore its proprietary Voice of the Customer approach to vehicle development.
The foundation of HORIBA MIRA’s attribute engineering process is focused on the driver experience as the key determiner of engineering decisions; the new Driver-in-the-Loop capability further embeds this philosophy by incorporating the driver’s subjective assessments at the earlier, virtual stage of the design cycle.
Tom Lee, Vehicle Dynamics and NVH Manager at HORIBA MIRA said, “Adding the driver into the loop at an earlier stage in the virtual development phase not only results in better overall engineering decisions, but it is wholly consistent with our Voice of the Customer approach to attribute engineering. This investment in our new simulator facility underlines our ongoing commitment at HORIBA MIRA to remain the market leaders by utilising the knowledge, experience and quality of our engineers with the latest engineering tools required to deliver first-class results for our customers.”
Guido Bairati, VP Global Sales & Marketing at VI-grade said, “We are happy to confirm the adoption and installation of our COMPACT Simulator at HORIBA MIRA. This demonstrates that testing activities and simulation are converging to develop better cars in shorter timeframes. Driving simulators provide engineers with subjective feedback earlier in the design cycle, enhance later-stage prototype testing and help to anticipate potential issues. The level of accuracy of VI-grade driving simulators make it possible to develop, test and fine-tune new vehicles with a precision never seen before.”
The VI-grade facility has been fully commissioned and is now operational as part of the company’s Vehicle Attribute Development Team’s services. The solution will ensure test and development timelines are shortened, costs are reduced and ultimately product performance is enhanced for the company’s OEM and Tier 1 customers.
Darmstadt / Copenhagen, May 5th, 2021 - VI-grade, a leading provider of best-in-class software products and services for advanced applications in the field of system level simulation, and iMotions, the world’s leading software platform for studying human behavior, today announced a partnership that will significantly advance driving simulator research. By integrating iMotions’ biosensor research platform into VI-grade’s driving simulators, users can seamlessly study and process behavioral and simulation data in one platform.
Highlights of the partnership between iMotions and VI-grade include these key advances in behavioral and simulation processing:
Document sessions with combined video and biometric recordings, allowing qualitative observation in real time and after the fact.
Derive insights from biosensors that can reveal states such as distraction, stress, and frustration when solving tasks under different conditions.
Applied use cases can be accelerated in the areas of HMI and usability, driver experience, and infrastructure testing
"Technological advances are transforming the auto experience in ways that necessitate a deeper understanding and analysis of real human behavior, which is why we’re thrilled to partner with VI-grade on its simulation platform,” said Peter Hartzbech, CEO, iMotions A/S.“We’ve developed a joint, state-of-the-art, integrated solution that provides deeper insight into how users perceive, understand, and decide to interact with simulation and, ultimately, the real world. Our customers now can access, in a single platform, live streams of data from the simulator along with physiological and behavioral data from the participant, such as eye-tracking, heart rate, skin conductance, brain activity, facial expressions, and much more.”
“It is my pleasure to announce the collaboration of VI-grade with iMotions, in providing professional human behavioral research solutions to the automotive community”, said Tony Spagnuolo, Vice President Business Development, VI-grade. “We have noticed a significant growth in demand for understanding human cognition, visual attention, emotion and behavior in driving simulator research. By integrating the iMotions software platform into our driving simulators, we are able to provide our customers access to more detailed insights into drivers’ performance, cognitive and emotional states. To ensure a native application of the software, we have included iMotions in our VI-Certified Program, our elevated partner program aimed at validating 3rd party software operation of VI-grade simulators.”
iMotions will participate as a partner in the upcoming 2021 Zero Prototypes Summit, VI-grade’s global connected event targeted at innovators in the automotive industry focused on how industry-leading companies use VI-grade’s simulation software and driving simulators to accelerate their vehicle development process. iMotions will participate as a panelist in a virtual roundtable dedicated to HMI applications scheduled for May 21st, 2021.
Hamilton (Ontario, Canada) and Darmstadt (Germany), April 21, 2021 – VI-grade today announced that McMaster Automotive Resource Centre (MARC) adopted the VI-grade STATIC Simulator, which has already been installed and commissioned at the university’s premises in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The new simulator is part of the MARCdrive lab and is applied for the development of automotive components and control systems, especially related to powertrain electrification as well as for the development of autonomous systems, human-machine interfaces and driver monitoring systems.
The STATIC Simulator represents a significant extension for the university's automotive research capacities, particularly for MARC, which is one of Canada’s leading research facilities in transportation electrification and smart mobility. The driver's perception and inputs can now be incorporated when developing the new systems and human feedback can be considered early in the design cycle. Thus, the performance of a component can be tested well before building a first prototype, making the “drive-before-build” approach becoming a reality. This allows researchers at MARC to steadily move to a more virtual environment to test and enhance the performance of their automotive components and control systems that would usually require a physical prototype.
“Much of our design at MARC is done virtually, so being able to test our systems on board of a vehicle allows us insights about the system’s performance that we wouldn’t have unless we prototyped them,” said Dr. Ali Emadi, Professor and Canada Excellence Research Chair Laureate, McMaster University. “For this reason, the possibility to have a driver-in-the-loop in the VI-grade’s STATIC Simulator, allowing us to include the driver’s perception when testing our systems, as well as the ability of testing the performance of a component with other vehicle systems before prototyping it, is of great value for our organization.”
“We are delighted to report the installation of our STATIC Simulator at McMaster University”, said Guido Bairati, VP of Sales and Marketing, VI-grade. “We are happy of having the chance to leverage our professional driving simulator solutions at the renowned McMaster Automotive Resource Center in Hamilton, Ontario, which is situated in a leading jurisdiction for auto production in North America. We are looking forward to witnessing and facilitating all applications of our STATIC Simulator as important tool for research and development activities for the industry and as precious device for educational purposes.”
Darmstadt, Germany, April 1st, 2021 – VI-grade today announced the acquisition of 100% of the outstanding shares of Concurrent Real-Time, Inc., a global provider of high-performance, real-time computational hardware and software solutions, from Battery Ventures, a Boston-based PE firm, for a purchase consideration of $166.7 million (£121.2 million) in cash, subject to customary closing conditions. The transaction is in line with VI-grade’s strategy to enhance and grow its market-leading simulator platform businesses and fully integrate Hardware-in-the-Loop (HiL) technology.
Headquartered in Pompano Beach, Florida, USA, Concurrent Real-Time (Concurrent-RT) is a leading developer and supplier of hard real-time operating systems, software, and hardware that delivers simulation and control platforms for a wide range of mission-critical aerospace and automotive applications. As such, Concurrent-RT shares a number of end-markets with VI-grade where customers demand low-latency real-time solutions involving software-in-the-loop (SiL), hardware-in-the-loop (HiL), and people-in-the-loop (PiL).
The combination of the two businesses will build on VI-grade’s market-leading position in simulation software and simulator solutions by enhancing its dynamic performance, broadening its product portfolio, while improving its delivery capability and market reach. The combination will create a virtual simulation and testing company of scale in the high-growth R&D markets within automotive and aerospace and defence.
Concurrent-RT has approximately 115 employees spread across the U.S., Japan, China, and Europe.
The acquisition is expected to close in Q2 pending regulatory review and approvals.
Additional information on this transaction can be found at this link.
Darmstadt (Germany), March 31st, 2021 – VI-grade today announced a partnership with BlackBerry QNX to enable real-time active sound design for the entire vehicle soundscape by integrating QNX’s Active Sound Design software (QNX ASD) with VI-grade’s NVH Simulator.
This partnership represents a significant step forward in sound design. Until now, vehicle sounds have been designed in a studio, separate from the natural vehicle sounds from engine, motors, tires, wind and other sources. These sounds were then auditioned and tested on physical prototypes, which was both time and cost-intensive, and often resulted in going back to the drawing board to create new sounds more suitable for the actual vehicle sound environment.
Thanks to this partnership, the QNX ASD software is now integrated with the VI-grade NVH Simulators, allowing designers to work interactively with a complete NVH simulation of the target vehicle and to experience the sound design in a highly realistic way. The VI-grade NVH Simulator connects QNX ASD to other sound and real-time data sources in the vehicle, so that tests and modifications can be performed much earlier in the design process. This drastically reduces the need for physical prototypes and saves development time and costs.
“We are thrilled to announce this partnership with VI-grade,” said Len Layton, Acoustics Business Development Manager, BlackBerry QNX. “The integration of QNX ASD with the VI-grade NVH Simulator allows automotive sound designers and NVH engineers to design and tune sounds for vehicles much faster and more efficiently than ever before, eliminating slow and costly development on prototype vehicles and moving this development to the desktop. By designing sounds with the full vehicle soundscape as context, better sounds can be designed and implemented faster.”
“Design of ASD sound profiles, whether for engine sound enhancement, electric vehicle sound enhancement or exterior sound for meeting Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems (AVAS) standards, used to be performed separately from the noise and vibration aspects of the vehicle platform. The ASD sound profiles were first developed in the “vacuum” of the studio, and then were combined with the rest of the vehicle sounds only on actual vehicles, which of course requires prototype vehicles and significant time horizons” said Dave Bogema, Director NVH Solutions, VI-grade. “With this combination of technology, sounds can be designed and tuned on a computer, in the context of all other vehicle sounds, over the entire operating envelope of the vehicle and evaluated with a free driving, driver-in-the-loop simulation, drastically reducing the need for prototype vehicle testing and tuning.”
QNX Active Sound Design is a comprehensive vehicle sound solution that allows designers to create the next generation of dynamic automotive sound designs with an unrivalled interactive workflow. Designers can design sounds interactively on the desktop using the QNX® LiveAMP sound design and tuning tool and then deploy directly to automotive embedded systems with the full confidence that their intended results will be realized in production. With the integration with the VI-grade NVH simulator, QNX ASD adds another level of capability that allows designers to work interactively with a complete NVH simulation of the target vehicle to experience their designs in a highly realistic way.
Darmstadt, Germany, March 24, 2021 – VI-grade today announced the “2021 Zero Prototypes Summit”, to be held on May 20th - 21st, 2021. This event expands on VI-grade’s previous virtual events and boasts an impressive slate of speakers from industry-leading companies using VI-grade’s simulation software and Driving Simulators to accelerate the vehicle development process. It will also feature a fully functional virtual exhibition area in which all sponsors and partners have an opportunity to showcase their solutions during dedicated sessions open to all participants.
This free-of-charge event is targeted towards executive-level engineering managers and experienced design engineers from the major automotive and transportation OEMs, Tier1 suppliers, motorsport teams, universities and research centers worldwide. Held on May 20th, 2021 from 2:00pm to 6:00pm Central European Standard Time (CEST) with additional discipline- and partner-dedicated sessions on May 21st, the Zero Prototypes Summit will employ the most sophisticated web conferencing techniques available on the market to ensure seamless and uninterrupted streaming. In addition to the virtual event, VI-grade also plans to hold limited availability, in-person versions of the Summit in its advanced global SimCenters located in Udine (Italy), Millbrook (UK), Detroit (USA), and Tokyo (Japan), thus virtually connecting its worldwide community of customers, partners and followers.
Participants will gain insight into how the major players in the worldwide automotive industry currently use simulation and driving simulators to accelerate the development of new vehicles, thus enabling them to get ever closer to virtual sign-off. Keynote presentations will be delivered by executives from Goodyear, Multimatic, NIO and Stellantis. Technical presentations and other special contributions from our user community will be announced soon. Additionally, this year’s event will also offer application-specific virtual roundtables, giving the community the opportunity to exchange and discuss the latest trends in driving simulation.
“Building on the success of our 2020 Virtual International Conference, this year we are very excited to offer our community an enhanced, hybrid version of our main event” said Guido Bairati, Vice President Global Sales & Marketing, VI-grade. “We are especially looking forward to providing our valued customers, partners and followers with a platform that enables participants to share their latest projects and advancements achieved with VI-grade solutions. More importantly, this allows them an opportunity to highlight the benefits and advantages gained by employing Driving Simulators in the vehicle development process.”
The event will also feature a fully functional virtual exhibition area in which all sponsors and partners will have the opportunity to present and showcase their solutions during dedicated sessions open to all participants. Confirmed sponsors of the Virtual Conference so far are: Applus+ IDIADA, Danisi Engineering, Rebel Dynamics, SAGInoMIYA, Altair, Barco, Concurrent Real-Time, Cosin, HBK, MegaRide, Multimatic, 3D Mapping, domeprojection, Heeds, Imtec Engineering, Horiba Mira, Konrad Technologies, Rescale, Screenline, SimCoVR, Smart Eye. Additional sponsors and exhibitors are planned to be added in the coming days.
The 2021 Zero Prototypes Summit is free-of-charge and open to all. Register now at https://conference.vi-grade.com. Additional details about the event will be added to the VI-grade website as they become available.