Darmstadt (Germany), Sep 30th, 2020 – VI-grade today announced the launch of VI-Certified, an elevated partner program aimed at validating 3rd party software operation on VI-grade simulators.
VI-grade develops and optimizes its Driving Simulators with a complete software suite for vehicle modeling, graphics, sound & vibration, and motion cueing, thus enabling an off-the-shelf, turn-key solution. In addition, VI-grade’s open architecture and Application Programming Interface (API) make it easy to integrate 3rd party software and hardware components, as often desired by customers. Today, with the establishment of the VI-Certified program, we are taking a step forward with our partners to ensure that the best of these third-party applications work natively on VI-grade simulators without issue, thus saving customer time and money during deployment.
Being a VI-Certified product means that a testing schema, approved and reviewed by VI-grade, has been completed and regularly validated on all VI-grade simulators. Participating partners also commit to provide timely software updates within each new version as well as dedicated customer support.
“We decided to establish the VI-Certified program following the feedback received from our clients. They requested the integration of partner technology to be consistently tested on our simulators” said Tony Spagnuolo, VP of Business Development, VI-grade. “Customers need an efficient process to use partner software in our Driving Simulators, and do not want to be burdened with integration testing. Based on this feedback, we created VI-Certified, that enables customers to use their established products, knowing that these products have been fully tested by partners and assured by VI-grade. This reduces cost and time of deployment for our Driving Simulators, which continue to grow in popularity in the worldwide automotive industry.”
“We are very pleased VI-grade has certified the integration of rFpro into its driving simulators,” said Matt Daley, rFpro Managing Director. “VI-grade has thoroughly tested the integration of rFpro into its simulation solutions and this helps to give customers confidence of the quality and robustness of the offering. Their Open Strategy is fantastic and extends the options available to our customers.”
“With MF-Tyre/MF-Swift being the tire model of choice for a multitude of global OEMs, a robust and user-friendly interface with all tools used throughout the development process is a key element or our product strategy. The VI-Certified program is an excellent confirmation of the seamless integration of MF-Tyre/MF-Swift in the VI-grade product suite. Moreover, it emphasizes the professional and quality driven cooperation between our companies” said Willem Versteden, Product Manager Simcenter Tire, Siemens Digital Industries Software.
“For many years we have successfully collaborated with VI-grade to extend vehicle dynamics testing on driving simulators to ADAS testing. Thanks to our product SCANeR interfaced with VI-grade products, customers can benefit from ever richer and complex environments, scenarios and sensor models” said Thomas Nguyen That, Automotive Domain Director, AVSimulation. “This allows them to experience and validate their ADAS systems even more efficiently.”
“Our CarMaker simulation software already enables to create virtual prototypes of vehicles which can be then used with all VI-grade Driving Simulators, thus enabling a seamless development process” said Steffen Schmidt, Managing Director IPG Automotive GmbH. “Component models, control systems and real ECUs can also be integrated into the vehicle. As part of our partnership with VI-grade, we are jointly working towards solutions that extend the current functions of CarMaker on the Driving Simulator.”
“For cosin, the leading provider of high-fidelity tire simulation software, quality assurance of interface components has always been key to a smooth user experience” said Gerald Hofmann, Managing Director, cosin scientific software AG. “Putting together the pieces of complex co-simulation scenarios, including hardware components and hard real-time requirements, is a challenging task. The VI-Certified program creates confidence that the integration of FTire with VI-grade products has been thoroughly tested from early development to software deployment on the customer’s system.”
“The VI-Certified program further increases the trust level for the stability, robustness and reliability of our CDTire model family” said Manfred Baecker, Head of Tire and Vehicle Simulation, Fraunhofer ITWM. “Especially for online simulations with CDTire/Realtime, it documents that the solutions that we offer with VI-DriveSim have become mature, creating a significant added value for the customer. Additionally, it documents the fruitful cooperation between VI-grade and Fraunhofer to further enlarge the application range of Driving Simulators in the industry.”
“Being included within the VI-Certified program is a further evidence of the robustness, reliability and continuously improving level of integration of the MegaRide solutions within both the optimization offline routines and the hard real-time online environments of the VI-grade simulation platform” said Aleksandr Sakhnevych, CTO, MegaRide. “VI-grade is consolidating its role of global integrator and our full compliance to their platform standards, as a turn-key solution, opens fascinating R&D and business scenarios.”
Udine (Italy), Sept 25th, 2020 – VI-grade is pleased to announce the Virtual Grand Opening of its expanded SimCenter in Udine, an advanced vehicle development and driving simulation center located at the Company’s Italian Headquarters. Originally inaugurated in 2015, SimCenter Udine now features DiM400, the first model of VI-grade’s brand-new family of scalable, cable-driven driving simulators, which will be officially revealed during the occasion.
The event will go live on Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 at 4pm CEST, providing customers, partners and media the opportunity to discover the distinctive features of this brand new family of cable-driven simulators, gaining unique understanding of its capabilities through the words of its creator Diego Minen, CTO of VI-grade and of professional drivers and early adopters of this technology. During the event, VI-grade will also roll out another major product line extension which will further complete the company’s portfolio both for offline and online solutions.
“Our DiM150 and DiM250 simulators have become industry standards and have fundamentally improved the vehicle development process. But our customers are now asking for simulators with larger range of motion, higher performance, and broader application areas such as ADAS/AV and NVH. To accommodate these requests, we’ve now complemented our actuator-driven simulator products with a range of larger, cable-driven simulators that set a new high-bar for simulator performance. We’ve retained our signature architecture of a lower stage that translates and rotates in a plane to represent the chassis and tire/roadway dynamics coupled with an upper stage, 6 degree-of-freedom mechanism, that faithfully recreates the higher-frequency vehicle body motion” said Diego Minen, CTO, VI-grade. “This architecture allows to speed up the tuning process, ultimately leading to a better and more immersive driving experience.”
This new line of larger simulators incorporates many technology innovations and breakthroughs:
Scalable architecture producible in any workspace size
Independent lateral, longitudinal and yaw travel
Longer exposure to steady-state accelerations
First active simulator allowing full control of both low and high frequency performance
Much higher yaw and yaw rates for motorsports applications
Delivery of a superb vertical heave
“The extension of our Driving Simulator product line with this new family of cable-driven simulators is in line with the strategy of our Company to provide scalable solutions aimed to carefully adapt to specific customer budget and space requirements”, said Bob Ryan, President, VI-grade. “We are extremely excited about the forthcoming Virtual Grand Opening, which will give us the possibility of sharing our latest advancements and strategies with a growing international community of customers and followers.”
With the latest additions, SimCenter Udine now showcases the following VI-grade products:
Desktop Static Simulator
Compact Static Simulator
Full-scale Static Simulator Targeted to ADAS Development
Millbrook (UK), Sept 16, 2020 –VI-grade is pleased to announce the availability of SimCenter Millbrook, an advanced vehicle development and driving simulation center located in Millbrook, UK. The facility, completely dedicated to NVH applications, is now available for rentals and technology display at the Millbrook Proving Ground located in Millbrook, Bedford, MK45 2JQ, helping greatly reduce the duration and cost of NVH vehicle development and finetuning.
SimCenter Millbrook features a new installation of a STATIC NVH Simulator based on a Bentley Continental GT full vehicle, completely instrumented for detailed and immersive NVH investigation. The STATIC NVH Simulator creates an interactive driving experience of a vehicle’s interior noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), bringing sound and vibration data into the real world, so it can be experienced by engineers and test drivers. Leveraging NVH Simulator and Software technology and expertise formerly from Brüel & Kjær and now part of the VI-grade family, the STATIC NVH simulator provides great authenticity, displaying the track in front of the vehicle that is equipped with headphones, speakers and shakers.
Also onsite is an exemplar of VI-grade’s DESKTOP NVH Simulator, equipped with a steering wheel and pedals so that drivers can interact with the vehicle and experience its sound in real-time. Highly accurate vehicle sound is played through headphones or speakers, allowing drivers to experience the sound of a vehicle throughout all of the dynamic aspects of driving, like changing gears and accelerating, or changing from smooth to coarse to rough road surfaces. This immersive context for sound evaluations helps engineers and non-experts select appropriate sounds and compare alternative designs.
Software-in-the-loop and hardware-in-the-loop capabilities enable integration with other vehicle systems, such as vehicle performance models and active sound design solutions.
“We are excited about the launch of our new SimCenter in Millbrook specifically dedicated to NVH applications”, said Guido Bairati, VP Sales & Marketing, VI-grade. “Our NVH Simulators increase confidence in the decision-making process, whether evaluating concepts or physical prototype updates. They can also easily incorporate CAE information, allowing subjective evaluations of virtual component designs when inserted in the real vehicle’s NVH data.”
“As early adopters and key developers of the NVH Simulator, Hottinger Brüel & Kjær (HBK) Engineering Services have been able to apply this technology in many development projects, from reducing OEM development time and costs, to aiding engineers in the decision making process and improving the driving experience of their customers” added Gabriella Cerrato, Director of Engineering Services, HBK. “As the automotive industry moves into a new era, with electrification bringing new NVH challenges, the NVH simulator is more critical than ever before”.
Mark Allman-Ward, NVH Solutions Technical Expert at VI-grade, is available to welcome at SimCenter Millbrook all customers who wish to directly experience the advantages of this technology.
Novi (Michigan), Jun 17, 2020 – Multimatic and VI-grade are pleased to announce the Virtual Grand Opening of SimCenter Detroit, an advanced vehicle development and driving simulation center in the greater Detroit area. The virtual world of driver-in-the-loop simulation helps greatly reduce the duration and cost of vehicle development.
The event will go live on Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 at 9am EDT, providing media, customers and partners the opportunity to take an early, virtual tour of this world-class facility, gain unique understanding of its capabilities, and participate in a Q&A session hosted by staff from both VI-grade and Multimatic.
SimCenter Detroit features the highly acclaimed DiM250 DYNAMIC Driving Simulator characterized by a novel, 9-degrees-of-freedom motion platform. Its ability to accurately reproduce both high frequency and large motion in longitudinal, lateral and yaw directions makes VI-grade’s DiM250 a unique engineering tool, suitable for evaluating vehicle ride and handling dynamics in the virtual world as never before.
Also onsite is VI-grade’s COMPACT Simulator, specifically utilized for verifying model integrity before being implemented on the DiM250.
SimCenter Detroit is optimized to meet customer demand for rapid, cost-effective development of next-generation vehicles that incorporate features such as driver assistance and autonomous operation. Multimatic, a global leader in vehicle dynamics engineering, will operate the facility as an extension of its current driving simulators in Canada and England.
“Multimatic’s operating philosophy, ‘Strength Through Technology,’ is what drives us towards innovation and product excellence every day. SimCenter Detroit is the next evolutionary step in the development of our company and its products. The technology that VI-grade has been able to develop with their Driver-in-Motion system is extraordinary and Multimatic couldn’t be more excited to bring DiM250 to the United States. Multimatic is looking forward to the continued technical partnership with VI-grade as we leverage their technology for future innovation in a highly competitive market” said Michael Guttilla, Vice President of Engineering, Multimatic.
“The adoption of our driving simulation technology at Multimatic is a direct consequence of our long-lasting partnership and will for sure bring mutual advantages to our companies”, said Bob Ryan, President, VI-grade. “We are extremely excited about having the chance of giving North American automotive and motorsport customers the possibility of directly experiencing the advantages of this technology through the establishment of this new SimCenter.”
To learn more about SimCenter Detroit, follow this link.
About Multimatic Inc.
Multimatic is a privately held, global enterprise supplying engineered components, systems and services to the automotive industry. Multimatic’s core competencies include the engineering and manufacturing of complex mechanisms, body hardware, suspension systems and body structures, as well as the design and development of lightweight composite automotive systems. In addition, Multimatic delivers niche vehicle design, development and production for road and race applications. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Multimatic has manufacturing divisions and engineering facilities in North America, Europe and Asia, and alliance relationships with partners around the world. Multimatic is comprised of five operating groups: Multimatic Mechanisms, Multimatic Structures & Suspension, Multimatic Engineering, Multimatic Niche Vehicles, and Multimatic Special Vehicle Operations.
Darmstadt (Germany), June 10th, 2020 – VI-grade today announced that the Automotive Engineering and Design center of University of Brescia, Italy adopted the COMPACT Simulator designed by VI-grade. The new simulator, fully equipped with VI-grade dedicated software as well as with shaker active components for an enhanced driver feeling, has been installed at the university premises in Brescia, Italy.
The COMPACT Simulator is the entry-level solution in the range of driving simulators provided by VI-grade. It features a driver’s seat, a fully adjustable steering wheel, dashboard, pedals, gear stick and screens and it can be placed directly in an engineering office. It is the perfect solution for those companies that want to start using a Driving Simulator to boost simulation activities and to test models in real-time, whilst getting a subjective feeling on the results.
“We have completed the installation of the COMPACT Simulator from VI-grade, in the frame of our industrial research activities within the automotive field here at the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering” said Prof. Marco Gadola, head of the Automotive Group at the University of Brescia. “We are very proud to be the very first Italian University to feature such an advanced R&D tool and to offer specific education focused on professional driving simulation to Automotive Engineering students. The cooperation we established with VI-grade is fostering our research on vehicle dynamics, system integration for innovative powertrains, driver-vehicle interaction, and sustainable mobility in general”.
“We are delighted to report the installation of our COMPACT Simulator at University of Brescia”, said Alessio Lombardi, Sales Director, South Europe and UK, VI-grade. “We are happy of having the chance to leverage our professional driving simulator solutions at this important Automotive Engineering and Design Center in Brescia, which is situated right between Milan and Verona in northern Italy and is the second automotive district in the country in terms of industrial output, also known for the world-famous Mille Miglia event dedicated to vintage cars. We are looking forward to witnessing and facilitating all applications of our COMPACT Simulator as important tool for research and development activities for the industry and as precious device for educational purposes.”
About VI-grade’s COMPACT Simulator
The COMPACT Simulator from VI-gradeis the ideal tool for automotive OEMs that wish to use a desktop technology to prepare models to be used for a more advanced simulator (both STATIC and DYNAMIC) and that need to quickly test specific components. The COMPACT Simulator is also an ideal solution for Tier 1 suppliers who need to make sure that their components will work well when included into a more complex vehicle model. This kind of simulator can also be used by universities and research centers, for example to develop and test dedicated control algorithms, as well to expose their students to driving simulator technologies. The COMPACT Simulator is equipped with the exact same software installed on STATIC and DiM simulators from VI-grade: this makes it very easy to upgrade from a COMPACT Simulator to a more advanced simulator, leveraging previous investments and experiences. Accessory technologies like VI-BioTelemetry, VI-ActiveSeat and VI-ActiveBelts are also fully compatible with the COMPACT Simulator from VI-grade.
Darmstadt (Germany), May 19th, 2020 – VI-grade, the leading provider of best-in-class products and services to bridge the gap between real world testing and technical simulation, today announced the official review of its first Virtual International Conference.
With a total number of over 1300 registered participants from 42 countries and over 400 different companies and an average of 600 participants connected at the same time, VI-grade reaches its personal record of number of attendees at this year’s Virtual International Conference. Never before have so many simulation experts, managers and engineers from all over the world gathered virtually to discuss the latest trends in driving simulation and to exchange their experience with other partners and users of the VI-grade technology. The virtual live event took place on May 13th from 13:00 to 18:00 CEST, with the exhibition area open for 24 hours. In addition, the event including recorded presentations, webinars and interactive booths will be accessible for everyone until June 12th at https://vi-grade.vfairs.com.
Thus, Volvo Cars reported that, year after year, they are getting closer to virtual sign-off that will allow to significantly decrease physical prototypes while facing and solving engineering challenges earlier in the design cycle. Ford Motor Company on the other hand, is on the forefront in the usage of NVH Simulators to predict and optimize sound and vibrations on its vehicles.
But also, Applus+ IDIADA is in no way inferior and completely understood that simulation and driving simulators are the only way towards a successful implementation of Connected Vehicles.
Just as important as innovation is collaboration, as the joint presentation of Maserati and MegaRide proved, who are currently working together to better integrate chassis components and tires. The need for collaboration does not go unnoticed by The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company either, as they are currently implementing a Driving Simulator strategy to better serve the automotive OEMs and to follow their path towards virtual sign-off. Finally, the virtual conference was concluded by the joint presentation of Automobili Pininfarina and Danisi Engineering that developed a beautiful and innovative car, sharing their respective strengths and skills.
Furthermore, Robert Ryan, President at VI-grade, also revealed a novel innovative addition to the VI-grade product family. The DiM400 is part of a new category of cable driven simulators that allow going beyond the limitations of longitudinal actuators used on DiM150 and DiM250 and boast the largest performance envelope in the industry. The first model of DiM400 has been built and will soon be installed at the VI-grade SimCenter in Udine, Italy. Another DiM400 has already been sold to the first customer and is expected to be installed in the third quarter of 2020.
Although this year’s show could only be held virtually and the popular Networking Sessions like the traditional Ice-Breaker-Event could not take place as usual, the 2020 Virtual International Conference was greatly appreciated by the VI-grade community, with an overall NPS value of 44. “It was great and for the first time nearly perfect”, “Very well organized, it was almost like attending in person”, “Perfect organization of a virtual conference with some important inputs for current work”, “Felt like a conference but digital. Impressed to offer this for free …” are just some of the comments left by selected attendees.
Nonetheless the 2020 Virtual International Conference also offered a fully functional virtual exhibition area, where all sponsors and partners had the chance of presenting their solutions to all participants featuring virtual booths of Applus+ IDIADA (Platinum Sponsors), Danisi Engineering, Rebel Dynamics, SAGInoMIYA (Platinum Sponsors), Barco, Concurrent Real-Time, cosin scientific software, IMTEC engineering, MegaRide, MSC Software, Multimatic, SimCoVR (Golden Sponsors), 3D Mapping Solutions, Altair, Heeds, Konrad Technologies, Horiba Mira, Screenline and Smarteye (Silver Sponsors).
Finally, VI-grade was also pleased to announce the confirmed dates of the 2021 International Conference, which will take place on April 12-13-14th, 2021 in Sitges, Spain.
For additional information about the 2020 Virtual International Conference, please visit https://conference.vi-grade.com. Everyone is invited to access free-of-charge the virtual event venue including recorded presentations and webinars, 20 interactive booths and a series of live follow-up webinars which will be hosted every Friday between May 29th and June 12th, 2020.
Darmstadt(Germany), May 7th, 2020 – Sweden-based innovation center for the future cars of the Geely Holding Group CEVT (China Euro Vehicle Technology AB) announced today the purchase of a DYNAMIC Driving Simulator from VI-grade to enhance its research and development capabilities.
In detail, CEVT has selected a DiM250 DYNAMIC Driving Simulator (Driver-in-Motion) equipped with the whole VI-DriveSim software suite and with active technology (belts, seat, brake and shakers) that will be installed in the to-be-built second part of Geely’s campus at Lindholmen, UNI3 by Geely, which will be inaugurated around midsummer 2021.
The driving simulator, which is expected to be up and running a bit earlier than that, will be used for Vehicle Dynamics, Ride & Comfort as well as ADAS applications in the development of new vehicles, with particular reference to the Lynk & Co. brand.
CEVT is a wholly owned subsidiary of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and covers vital aspects of passenger car development – from architecture to powertrain and driveline components, to top hat engineering, i.e. the upper body structure as well as the vehicles' exterior design. The company represents an innovation centre for the future cars of the Geely Holding Group with the purpose of being at the forefront of new developments in the automotive industry.
“For CEVT this investment is a crucial part of our toolbox to develop the mobility solutions for a different tomorrow. It shows the importance of CEVT as a company within the Geely Auto Group as well as a company in the automotive capital of the Nordics”, said Mats Fägerhag CEO at CEVT. “Our ambition with the simulator is to replicate the real world in as many aspects as possible to provide our engineers with an alternative to real world tests. In many cases we see that we can do the same tests as in the real world and still get a high level of representation of reality. This means that the simulator can be an option to any test that can be done on a prototype vehicle or a test vehicle in general. Examples of such studies can be vehicle dynamics, ride and handling but also research on autonomous cars as well as future transportation and mobility. Anything that can be modelled on a computer in an accurate manner can be tested”, added Fägerhag.
“Imagine that you have a new idea for some function that you want to test in the car. In the past you had to design the function, build a prototype of it and put it in a test car, go to the test track, try it and in the end perhaps go on with it or do modifications. These steps can often take months and cost a lot of money for each and every part of the process. With the simulator you can do a simple model of the function, take it downstairs to the simulator and try it out directly. You also get direct access to all the data and better control of the test. Think about all the innovation that can take place! We can probably test our vehicles half a year before we get the prototypes for them. A design change can take a week instead of until the next prototype series, which can be due in a year”, said Albin Gröndahl, CAE Engineer and Project Manager for the Driving Simulator at CEVT.
“Once again, we are very happy to report on the adoption of our DYNAMIC Driving Simulator at another automotive company such as CEVT” said Guido Bairati, VP Global Sales and Marketing, VI-grade. “This marks the 20th installation of our flagship DYNAMIC Driving Simulators (DiM150 and DiM250) on a worldwide basis and the second exemplar installed in the city of Gothenburg, where also Volvo’s DiM150 is operational since 2014”.
To reproduce vehicle movements and accelerations, the DiM solution takes a different path to driving simulation and is based on a patented revolutionary design with nine actuators. The resulting configuration with its 9 degrees of freedom enables to go beyond the basic six-actuator design of a simple hexapod or similar, thus providing a larger workspace while maintaining a high stiffness. This leads to a system suitable for low as well as high frequencies, both of which occur in automotive chassis design. For this reason, DiM enables to investigate vehicle dynamics as well as ride and comfort on the same driving simulator.
Darmstadt (Germany), April 23rd, 2020 – VI-grade today announced the 2020 International VI-grade Virtual Conference to be held on May 13th, 2020 at 1:00pm CEST.
Just one year ago, more than 240 engineers, managers and simulation experts from all over the world gathered in the city of Hanau near Frankfurt, Germany, to attend the 11th edition of the VI-grade International Conference and to discuss the latest trends in driving simulation. Despite the exceptional situation caused by COVID-19 pandemic, VI-grade continues bridging the gap and once again gives its international community the opportunity to discover more about the company’s current strategies and directions and to exchange experience with other partners and users of the VI-grade technology in a Virtual Conference.
The free-of-charge event, dedicated to executive managers and experienced engineers from the main automotive and transportation companies, tier1 suppliers, motorsport teams, universities and research centers from all over the world, will be hosted on May 13th, 2020 at 1:00pm CEST | 7:00am EDT | 8:00pm JST and will take advantage of the most sophisticated web conferencing techniques now available on the market.
The web conference will give the VI-grade international community of users, partners and prospective customers the possibility to learn more about how the main players of the worldwide automotive industry currently use simulation and driving simulators to accelerate the development of new vehicles, featuring confirmed (keynote and technical) online presentations so far from Applus + IDIADA, Goodyear, Maserati, Pininfarina, Volvo.
Additionally, the event will feature a fully functional virtual exhibition area open during the whole day of May 13th, in which all sponsors and partners will have the chance of presenting 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, Barco, Concurrent Real-Time, Cosin, Heeds, IMTEC Engineering, MegaRide, MSC Software, Multimatic, SimCoVR, 3D Mapping, Altair, Horiba Mira, Konrad Technologies, Screenline, Smart Eye.
“Particularly due to the great success of our previous conferences, we are very pleased to have found a way to produce the 12th edition of our International Conference despite the current emergency situation,” said Guido Bairati, Vice President Global Sales & Marketing, VI-grade. “Therefore, we are especially looking forward to giving our international community the opportunity to share their latest projects and advancements realized using our simulation solutions with an experienced audience.”