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.
Darmstadt (Germany), March 17, 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 the start-up of its STATIC Simulator, installed at Peugeot Sport’s headquarters in Versailles, France. The driving simulator is intended to both accelerate the development of the new racecar and, ultimately, to ensure that Peugeot Sport is optimally prepared for a strong comeback in the WEC, where the French manufacturer will compete in the recently launched “2022 Le Mans Hypercar” Program.
“Our entry into the WEC’S Hypercar Program naturally comes with great challenges, whether it’s developing a high-performance race car with new regulations or the limited testing time on tracks.”, said Emmanuel Ohayon, Head of Simulation and Dynos at Peugeot Sport.“The driving simulator is extremely crucial for us, especially in this early development phase. We can fully design, test and develop the new LMH car with our engineers and race drivers on the STATIC Simulator, resulting in a significantly refined design once the car will hit the track for the first time.”
“We are delighted to report the adoption of our STATIC Simulator at Peugeot Sport”, said Alessio Lombardi, EMEA Sales Director, VI-grade. “The STATIC Simulator provides Peugeot Sport with a complete solution that enables them to virtually develop, test and optimize the race car, before building a first prototype. This allows the team to prepare much more accurately and efficiently for their comeback in the WEC. We are once again pleased to testify to the value and competitive advantage that our driving simulator solutions provide, especially for motorsport teams."
Darmstadt, March 3rd, 2021 –VI-grade today announced the release of NVH Simulator 2021.0, the latest release of its NVH Simulator software.
This release incorporates significant new features and capabilities, and completely revises the pricing model and product structure to enable easier technology use and accessibility. The NVH Simulator solutions were recently incorporated into the VI-grade portfolio of automotive simulations solutions. These NVH simulation solutions, together with the rest of the VI-grade simulation solutions for ride and handling, ADAS and HMI applications, provide automotive product development professionals with the tools they need to accelerate product development across a wide range of automotive applications and from a single source.
VI-grade has continued to refine its NVH Simulator solutions over time, resulting in significant improvements in automotive product development efficiency. The importance and relevance of these solutions have been widely recognized by the automotive industry, given the mainstream usage and adoption of VI-grade’s solutions industry-wide. Because of the widespread adoption of VI-grade’s NVH Simulator solutions, VI-grade has comprehensively revised the product structure, licensing and pricing with the goal of making the NVH Simulator software more easily accessible, more scalable and overall more useful in the product development and innovation process.
“Many leading automakers and suppliers depend on the NVH Simulator to bring their sound and vibration data to life, to experience, understand, communicate and make decisions on NVH issues faster than ever before possible. Now more than ever, automotive engineers and designers rely on virtual prototypes, including NVH virtual prototypes, to accelerate the design process and make critical design decisions,” says Dave Bogema, Director of NVH Solutions at VI-grade. “The NVH Simulator technology has been provided through Brüel & Kjær for 15 years and has enjoyed the benefits of being developed under the auspices of Brüel & Kjær, who have a long tradition of excellence in sound and vibration innovation exceeding 75 years. With over 50 DESKTOP NVH Simulators and full-vehicle STATIC NVH Simulators installed and in use around the world, the NVH simulator solutions have become mainstream solutions for accelerating product development. With this release, we not only wanted to provide the usual abundance of new and expanded functionality, but also make the solutions more scalable and bring them within reach of everyone who can benefit from the NVH Simulator technology.”
The NVH Simulator solutions enable the highly accurate experience of sound and vibration data, and comprise a comprehensive set of solutions including desktop NVH simulators, full-vehicle static NVH simulators, in-vehicle/on-road simulators, exterior sound simulators, and sound solutions providing accurate sound in concert with any driving simulator. The NVH Simulator solutions are used by automotive engineers and designers worldwide to set and achieve targets, assess design options, conduct benchmark comparisons, design the sound of EVs and IC-engine vehicles, and communicate sound and vibration concepts and issues to decision-makers. These NVH solutions further integrate to the broader portfolio of VI-grade solutions for vehicle dynamics, ride, handling, HMI and ADAS.
Darmstadt, February 17th, 2021 – VI-grade today announced that luxury British sports car manufacturerAston Martin Lagondahas adopted the COMPACT Simulatordesigned by VI-grade to meet increasingly complex vehicle targets. The Driving Simulator is also a decisive tool allowing Aston Martin Lagonda to move away from the common traditional engineering approach used in the automotive industry to a more virtual environment, thus saving cost and resources in the development of new vehicles.
Today’s vehicle development programs are increasingly demanding, simultaneously requiring cost and time reductions while also improving quality. Traditional engineering aproachesare hard-pressed to successfully address these requirements, as these two targets are hardly compatible. As a result, Aston Martin Lagonda is steadily moving towards a more virtual environment, employing vehicle models and simulation tools to embed traditional development steps into a virtual modelthat would usually be carried out on a physical proving ground. This is achieved by creating a digital twin of the vehicle. This innovative form of development is not only more resource-efficient but also enables the sports car manufacturer to significantly increase the quality of its end products.
By using the COMPACT Simulatorby VI-grade, Aston Martin Lagonda is now able to conduct numerous tests on the virtual vehicle model at an early stage, well before building a first prototype. The Driving Simulator application allows various elements of the vehicle’s behavior to be tested and potential error sources to be identified and eliminated much earlier in the development process. This leads to higher reliability and confidence in the prototypes and more effective testing, which in the end results in a higher quality of the final vehicle.“We have identified that by the use of virtual tools and simulation, the expenditure profile of a project is smoother and is reduced throughout the life of the product development process, and that’s because any error states that you find, you find them at the very beginning of the program, before you committed to any tooling, or you’re committed to any production parts,” said Jose Barcelo, Chassis/Vehicle Dynamics CAE Manager at Aston Martin Lagonda.“In our development activities, we are always trying to be as cost effective as possible, trying to reduce the time of the programs, and by doing so we are also reducing the cost of the programs.”
“We are delighted to report that the iconic British sports car manufacturer Aston Martin Lagonda utilizes our revolutionary driving simulation solution, thus embarking on a new innovative development path”, said Alessio Lombardi, Sales Director, South Europe and UK at VI-grade. “First results of the application of our COMPACT Simulator are already visible on the new DBX model, Aston Martin’s first luxury SUV. By integrating our Driving Simulator technology into the development program, the Aston Martin Lagonda engineering team was able to eliminate possible error sources of the vehicle much earlier, build more reliable prototypes and finally come up with a high-performance car that pushes the boundaries of what is possible for an SUV."
Milan, February 3, 2021 - Politecnico di Milano today presented the world's first commercial installation of the DiM400, the most innovative model of driving simulator available on the market, designed and developed by VI-grade. In acquiring the driving simulator, the Politecnico di Milano received financial support from the Lombardy Region. This installation is fundamental for the scientific research in the automotive field, as the simulator represents a unique tool for the university in the development of sustainable mobility. On the one hand, the driving simulator will be applied for the design and conception of new environmentally friendly vehicles and for the development of components with innovative materials. On the other hand, the simulator will be used for applications related to vehicle dynamics, fuel consumption optimization, verification of the functioning of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and applications for autonomous driving. The development of sustainable motorsport will also be possible in the future.
The system, partially financed by the Lombardy Region, has been installed at the Bovisa campus of the Politecnico di Milano thanks to an agreement with the Lombardy Region. The driving simulator represents a technological highlight of a project promoted by the Lombardy Mobility Cluster - a project that aims to create a center of excellence for automotive subcontractors in the regional cluster of Lombardy, the fourth largest in Europe.
"Experimental infrastructures and state-of-the-art laboratories are essential elements for international research and development with companies" commented Ferruccio Resta, Director of Politecnico di Milano. "The installation of the simulator contributes in making the Politecnico di Milano competitive on an international scale and turns the Bovisa area into an ecosystem of innovation. This is the objective of the University: to face the great challenges of the coming years, first of all that of mobility."
"With this agreement we want to put research and innovation at the service of sustainable mobility to strongly support the Lombardy automotive supply chain” said Fabrizio Sala, Councillor for Education, Research, Innovation, University and Simplification of the Lombardy Region. "The decision to invest in this infrastructure was based on a concrete contextual analysis: 80% of the value of vehicles depends on the components, i.e. the technologies applied by the companies that produce the different parts. This is a sector that is particularly highly developed in Lombardy, with over 1000 companies in the mechanical, plastic and electronic sectors for the automotive industry. Therefore, simulators are indispensable for design and production of state-of-the-art vehicles, offering great benefits to both business and science. Having one of the world's most advanced simulators in Lombardy represents a great opportunity," Sala concluded.
"This success shows that universities are playing an increasingly fundamental role in the development of new transportation technologies, as they have become an important part of the automotive ecosystem made up of manufacturers, suppliers and R&D centers," said Alessio Lombardi, Sales Director EMEA, VI-grade.
The driving simulator is a system consisting of a real cockpit as well as a large panoramic screen that reproduces a virtual scenario, simulating a realistic driving experience. In addition, the driver is immersed in a vibro-acoustic environment that resembles reality. When executing commands to the vehicle, the driver receives the same feedback that he would receive when driving a real car. In the cockpit the driver is subjected to exactly the same forces as in the real driving experience, thanks to the simulator's movements and the integrated active systems of the seat and seatbelts.
The simulator is therefore capable of integrating the different mechanical, electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, electronic and computer components that determine vehicle performance and the related influence on driver feeling, as well as the environmental impact of cars under various operating conditions.
The DiM400 features an innovative cable-based handling system that allows a greater range of motion, exposing the driver to higher acceleration over a longer period of time. In addition, a new component called "Hexalift" enables improved vertical movement by extending the available travel. This, in turn, leads to an improved driving experience during combined movements.
The first advantage of the driving simulator is to demonstrate the potential of innovations in a safe environment before they are implemented in reality. In the same way, it is possible to test and perfect all advanced systems of assisted (ADAS) or autonomous driving.
Furthermore, the simulator allows to verify the interaction between road users and infrastructures, such as traffic sensors, before they are actually built. In addition, studies on driving safety, e.g. for disabled and elderly people, as well as studies on the interaction between more vulnerable users, vehicles and infrastructures can be developed. This functionality is particularly important in the context of sustainable and intelligent mobility to design a transportation system capable of reducing road congestion, pollution, and hazards. In addition, the simulator allows reconstruction of traffic accidents.
Finally, the simulator represents a fundamental element for teaching approach at the university: Topics of vehicle dynamics, driver-vehicle-infrastructure interaction as well as "best practices" can henceforth be taught in a specific and practice-oriented way.
In addition to strengthening Goodyear’s product development at the European site, the new driving simulator also enhances technical collaboration with its headquarters in Akron, Ohio, USA, where another DiM250 was recently put into operation. In addition, both of Goodyear’s innovation centers employ VI-grade COMPACT Simulators to complement virtual tire development processes.Driving simulators allow tire models to be developed, tested and validated early in the development cycle, identifying the best performing tires before building a first prototype. This matches with the pace of the automotive development process, providing tire models at the right time when requested by vehicle manufacturers.
“This level of simulation capability is a clear technology leadership advantage”said Chris Helsel, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Goodyear.“We are always looking to improve the development process and maintain our status as the preferred supplier for our customers.”
“We are delighted to report on the adoption of a second DiM250 DYNAMIC Driving Simulator at Goodyear,”said Guido Bairati, VP Global Sales and Marketing, VI-grade.“With DiM250 and COMPACT simulators on both sides of the ocean, Goodyear is now at the forefront of virtual tire development and gains a significative competitive advantage when it comes to collaboration with automotive OEMs and accelerated product development.”