Darmstadt (Germany), January 14, 2021 – VI-grade today announced the 2021 edition of the Virtual Formula competition.
Virtual Formula is a contest built upon the rules and regulations of the Formula SAE and Formula Student competitions. Participating teams can register free-of-charge and get access to VI-Motorsport, VI-grade’s state-of-the-art simulation software, to find the best set-up for their car. Teams will have to optimize a given vehicle model virtually racing against all other teams on a selection of typical Formula Student dynamic events. The car with the best overall score will take the trophy.
In order to fully support all different vehicle configurations, and to line up with the rules and regulations of the Formula Student events, this year’s competition will once again feature two different categories, one reserved for combustion engines and one dedicated to electric drivetrain.
Additionally, this year’s competition will be divided in two subsequent phases: the OFFLINE phase and the ONLINE phase.
The OFFLINE phase will consist of optimizing the performance of a virtual racecar by minimizing the lap-time on given tracks.
The 3 best teams will be qualified for the ONLINE phase of the competition, in which they will race against each other on a DESKTOP Driving Simulator, using the cars they have designed and submitted at the end of the OFFLINE phase.
The team that scores the best combined ranking will win the competition and will be awarded with all top-notch Fanatec hardware and VI-grade software needed to upgrade the team’s Windows PC to a fully functional VI-grade DESKTOP Simulator as well as with a one-day session at one of VI-grade’s SimCenters located around the world.
Darmstadt, January 13, 2021 – VI-grade today announced that Australian racing team Walkinshaw Andretti United (WAU) adopted a combination of software and hardware technologies from VI-grade on their proprietary driving simulator. This solution will be used by the Team’s engineers, as well as drivers Chaz Mostert and Bryce Fullwood in the lead up, and during the 2021 season, to advance the Teams simulation program for 2021.
The partnership sees the VI-DriveSim simulation software from VI-grade, used in conjunction with Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Motum Simulator, for all simulation activities away from the racetrack. Additionally, thanks to the VI-Motorsport software based on a faster-than-real-time simulation solver which can predict the virtual car behavior, the Team managed to reduce the time needed to find the best set-up and explore more design variants in less time, extensively validating the simulation against test data in various race car series.
“It’s fantastic to be able to enter into a partnership with VI-grade, as we continue to advance our simulation program away from the racetrack” said Carl Faux, Technical Director, WAU. “Testing miles in our category are extremely limited, so whatever we can do while back at base to arrive at a racetrack with as much data and direction for car setup is going to be extremely advantageous to us. Their software provides us with instant analysis and feedback, from both the data in front of us, as well as the feedback from the driver on the simulator.”
“We have been using VI-grade software offline for a number of years, but now combining this with our Motum Simulator to do real Driver-in-Loop testing is a really exciting prospect, and one that the driver can provide information back to the engineers on feel of the car that sometimes gets lost in the purely virtual world” continued Faux. “Certainly, this is a giant step forward in the capabilities at WAU and something we are going to rely on heavily throughout the 2021 season.”
“We are excited to keep working with WAU and to move our collaboration to the next level, bringing our VI-DriveSim software suite on the simulator” says Guido Bairati, VP Sales & Marketing at VI-grade. “Off-line simulations are essential to design a good race car but getting the feedback from the real driver is essential to gain that little additional advantage that brings you on top of the grid. The realism of our real-time vehicle model in VI-Motorsport in conjunction with digitized tracks in VI-GraphSim will allow WAU drivers to prepare at best for their race weekends, finding the best set up for their car and the best driving strategy to stay ahead of competition.”
About Walkinshaw Andretti United
Walkinshaw Andretti United was born from three iconic organisations in world motorsport, Walkinshaw Racing, Andretti Autosport, and United Autosports. It fields two Holden ZB Commodores in the Repco Supercars Championship. The three organisations cover the globe, with Walkinshaw Racing based in Australia, Andretti Autosport in America, and United Autosports in Europe.
The Team, originally Walkinshaw Racing, debuted as the Holden Racing Team in 1990, and is one of the most successful Supercars teams of all time, having amassed seven Bathurst wins (1990, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2009, 2011) and six driver championship wins (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002). Walkinshaw also produced two other driver championship wins with their HSV Dealer team (2006, 2007) bringing their total to eight.
we send you our very warmest wishes for this holiday season and thank you for your continued trust in our teams and our technology. We are honored and humbled by your support and loyalty.
This has been an extraordinary year in many respects. While we were definitely challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, we also had the opportunity to redouble our efforts to introduce exciting new products to help you drive product innovation.
We have never been more excited about the future and are already looking forward to travelling new roads together. For this reason, we have created 12 different calendar-style desktop backgroundsto accompany you throughout the entire 2021 year.
On behalf of the entire VI-grade team, we wish you happy holidays with your families and a good start into the new year!
Darmstadt, December 16th, 2020 – 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 operation of the DYNAMIC Driving Simulator in the Mercedes-AMG development process.
Following several sessions at VI-grade’s advanced SimCenter in Udine, Italy, and numerous test drives on the Simulator in April 2018, the major German OEM decided to adopt the DYNAMIC Driving Simulator technology from VI-grade primarily for vehicle dynamics applications. Since end of 2018, the DiM250 Driving Simulator is in full operation and already completely integrated in the development process and toolchain of the German car manufacturer. For instance, the DYNAMIC Driving Simulator was also applied in the development of the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series production car, with which test driver Maro Engel only recently broke the track record on the Nordschleife as fastest upper-class vehicle.
“The DiM250 Driving Simulator is the perfect tool for us. We can get our test drivers in there, who will be driving the real cars later or we can drive ourselves or have our management drive. We establish a target for where we want to be with the final product and, thanks to the Driving Simulator, we can have a whole set of teams working together.” explained Michael Bidlingmaier, Key Expert – Digital Vehicle Dynamics Integration, Mercedes-AMG.
The DiM250 Driving Simulator enables customers to improve collaboration between all engineering teams involved in the development process, including target definition, breakdown of component/system demands, reintegration of CFD/FEM/CAD/MBS results, creation of loads for strength and durability analysis, tire development, HiL-Control system development and network simulation.
“We are very delighted that a renowned car manufacturer like Mercedes-AMG utilizes our driving simulation technology to virtually optimize the dynamic behavior of their vehicles”, said Helmut Schmitz, Sales Director DACH & Benelux at VI-grade. “We are truly impressed by how Mercedes-AMG integrated our DYNAMIC Driving Simulator into the development processes and toolchain for both series vehicles and Hypercars in such a short time. This further proves the importance of collaboration on the Driving Simulator between the teams involved in the development process, but also between OEMs and suppliers in order to achieve the best possible results and quality in less time.”
Darmstadt (Germany), December 9th, 2020 – VI-grade is pleased to announce that Chinese automobile parts company FAWER Y-TEC Automotive Chassis System Co. Ltd. (Abbr. FYCS) has chosen VI-grade’s DESKTOP Simulator for its engineering activities. The simulator will be installed at the Company’s Headquarters in Changchun, China and will be used to perform preliminary subjective evaluation for steering and handling.
FYCS is a leading global supplier of chassis parts and mainly produces front and rear subframes, control arms, longitudinal arms, tie rods and other assembly products aimed to provide international customers with one-stop solutions. Until now, most of the component tests had to be performed on a physical car, which was not only expensive, but also time-consuming. By installing the VI-grade DESKTOP Simulator, FYCS is now able to conduct preliminary subjective evaluation of the chassis components at an early stage of the design phase.
The DESKTOP Simulator is the entry-level solution in the Driving Simulators product line provided by VI-grade. It offers the possibility to test drive the vehicle directly from your desk, validating its basic behavior. Featuring steering wheel and pedals, it is the perfect validation solution for those engineers who want to start using a Driving Simulator to boost simulation activities and to test models in real-time whilst getting a subjective feeling.
"The ability of carrying out driving tests in early stages of chassis system design enables to optimize vehicle driving performance in order to better meet customer expectations and OEM’s design requirements, tightening the connection between Chassis System supplier and OEMs”, said Yu Ruifeng,R&D Director at FYCS. “VI-grade’s DESKTOP Simulator will be a powerful tool for System suppliers and OEMs to actualize Top-Down design, reducing vehicle development cycles and costs.”
“We are very excited to report the installation of our VI-grade DESKTOP Simulator at FYCS headquarters in Changchun” said Richard Liu, China Country Manager at VI-grade. “The DESKTOP Simulator is the ideal tool for FYCS to perform preliminary subjective evaluation for steering and handling, thus optimizing their development cycles. We are looking forward to further expanding our cooperation with FYCS and to implementing additional chassis applications of our DESKTOP Simulator in the future.”
Driving simulator installed at Daimler AG in Sindelfingen, Germany. The mechanical parts of the system except the Hexapod have been designed and installed by Imtec Engineering (image courtesy of Daimler AG)
Berlin, November 24th, 2020 – VI-grade Group (VI-grade), an industry leader in virtual prototyping software and driver-in-the-loop hardware simulators, has confirmed today that it has signed an agreement to acquire 100% of the ownership of IMTEC Engineering.
Established in 2003 outside of Berlin, IMTEC has grown steadily and profitably by providing innovative automation technology and simulators to key transportation OEMs and industrial concerns to reduce time-to-market for new products, while lowering risk and cost. With this new addition, VI-grade augments its R&D team, enhances its manufacturing and production capabilities, and expands its global distribution and maintenance operation.
“This is a strategic move for IMTEC and we are very excited to be joining VI-grade,” says Thomas Schulz, Managing Director at IMTEC. “There are many advantages to becoming part of this global group. The leadership team at VI-grade has a strong interest in developing and investing in IMTEC’s capabilities, products, and highly talented workforce. As a combined company, we are confident that we can lead the global market for innovative simulator products and solutions.”
“IMTEC has been a key partner and supplier to VI-grade for many years and this move represents an excellent opportunity for us to combine forces to create a powerhouse in the vehicle simulator marketplace” says Bob Ryan, President at VI-grade. “By blending the software pedigree and expertise of VI-grade with the mechatronic hardware expertise of IMTEC and the financial strength of VI-grade’s parent company, Spectris plc, VI-grade is positioning itself to more rapidly scale its global simulator business.”
IMTEC has approximately 25 permanent, full-time employees and a central focus on vehicle driving simulators and machine automation systems. IMTEC’s mechatronic team has experience in mechanical design, development, prototyping, fabrication, assembly, and global installation. For further information about IMTEC please visit this link.
Darmstadt (Germany), November 18, 2020 – VI-grade today announced that Linglong Group, the parent company of leading Chinese tire manufacturer Shandong Linglong Tire Co., Ltd. is currently creating a virtual proving ground for its tire test facility located in the city of Zhaoyuan, Shandong, China. Thanks to VI-GraphSim and VI-Road, it will be possible to use these road data files and graphic scenarios both for offline and online simulations. Additionally, the Linglong virtual proving ground data files will be made available for purchase and rental on the VI-grade website.
“Our Group has and opened to public in 2016 a 150 hectares testing site called Sino-Asia Tire Proving Ground, one of the most comprehensive testing facilities in Asia and China’s first large-scale outdoor tire proving ground” said Nie Qiuhai, Deputy General Manager, Shandong Sino-Asia Tire Proving Ground Ltd. “With the adoption of the VI-GraphSim and VI-Road software provided by VI-grade, we plan to further enhance our virtual testing capabilities, strengthening our virtual development and validation activities by offering virtual scenarios for different applications.”
By taking full advantage of the synergies between physical and virtual testing, LingLong Group has now the possibility to cooperate with more OEMs for developing and improving new vehicle models. Additionally, Sino-Asia Tire Proving Ground will have the ability of providing its customers with the virtual version of their proving ground, which will be also made available on the VI-grade website.
“We are very pleased that Linglong chose to cooperate with VI-grade in order to provide digital tracks and virtual graphic scenario” said Guido Bairati, VP Sales & Marketing, VI-grade. “This will help our customers take vehicle design decisions in a faster and more accurate manner, helping reduce dependence on physical prototypes through the opportunity of safely accessing a virtual version of their proving ground at a lower cost.”
VI-Roadenables to prepare road data files for vehicle simulations and supports a series of advanced capabilities, such as the possibility of modeling kerbs and of specifying variable friction coefficients and track disturbances. The user interface grant access to specific tools for creating, manipulating and smoothing driver lines; thanks to an embedded solver, VI-Road enables to estimate the static limit speed profile for a given vehicle on a specified trajectory.
VI-GraphSimprovides high-resolution and low-latency graphic environments for both static and dynamic Driving Simulators. VI-GraphSim, in conjunction with the usage of wide-screens, provides drivers with an immersive environment for a unique driving simulation experience: through the usage of different cameras it is possible to satisfy the needs of drivers and track engineers at the same time. VI-GraphSim includes a large variety of vehicle models from many different race series and from automotive OEMs and a large number of racing tracks.
Darmstadt, November 11th, 2020 – VI-grade introduces VI-WorldSim, a high-resolution graphic environment for accelerated vehicle development dedicated to the high-end automotive market.
The new VI-WorldSim software features a user-friendly and fully integrated graphic environment on VI-grade Driving Simulators with realistic traffic and sensor behavior. The software not only brings traditional track modeling to a higher level of realism based on the Unreal high-performance graphic engine but also adds the features needed to test on CAV sites, urban environments, and public roads for ADAS and Autonomous Vehicle Testing. VI-WorldSim features include traffic, pedestrians, lighting, weather, and sensors to enable users to create and test scenarios for vehicle development programs through an intuitive and easy-to-use desktop editor. Cars, pedestrians, and animals are AI-driven actors who follow normal routes or can be controlled through the definition of specific behaviors.
“It became clear to us that the ADAS market was demanding Driver Simulators with greater workspaces, more sustained motion cues, and a much more immersive and fully integrated, real-time visual environment for urban driving. Users wanted a visual environment that unites the high frame-rate rendering capabilities of our VI-GraphSim software with very modern and realistic traffic and sensor simulation as well as urban roadway content displayed in a high-quality rendering engine,” said Guido Bairati, VP of Sales and Marketing, VI-grade. “We then turned toward software providers for autonomous vehicles and discovered RightHook, a Silicon Valley company that shares our values and has deep expertise in multi-agent traffic simulation, sensor simulation, and deep capabilities in the Unreal gaming engine. RightHook, now part of VI-grade, spent the last eighteen months together with our development team building what we believe is the best integrated visual environment for driving simulators ever produced. We couldn’t be happier with the incredible accomplishments of this team and are looking forward to share this exciting new product with our customer base.”
VI-WorldSim provides users with a single engine for all different types of environments, simulations and disciplines: chassis development, driver training, CAV test site, public road testing of ADAS/AV, and EuroNCAP testing. Users can benefit from a single high-quality graphic engine with an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Powerful traffic and agents (including different vehicles, pedestrians, animals), preconfigured scenarios and a comprehensive library of popular sensors make VI-WorldSim the perfect tool to enable immersive subjective feel and feedback. The software, which today supports all VI-grade’s Driving Simulators, comes in several configurations and will soon be available also for offline usage.