Darmstadt, December 5, 2019 – VI-grade today announced the 2020 edition of its International Conference.
The event, dedicated to executive managers and experienced engineers belonging to automotive and transportation companies, tier1 suppliers, motorsport teams, universities and research centers from all over the world, will be held on May 13th-14th, 2020 at the HOTEL ME SITGES TERRAMAR, located in the city of Sitges, Spain (in the outskirts of Barcelona).
The conference will give the VI-grade international community of users, partners and prospective customers the opportunity 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. Once again, particular attention will be given to VI-grade’s current solutions and development plans for real-time simulation, HIL, SIL, traffic simulation and ADAS, autonomous driving, vehicle energy efficiency and tire modeling. The event will offer keynote and technical papers, panel discussions and workshops as well as an interesting technical showcase area in which VI-grade and its partners will present their solutions.
The 2020 International Conference will also feature an Ice Breaker social event in the afternoon of May 12th, when all registered attendees will be invited to an informal get-together at the Applus+ IDIADA premises in Santa Oliva to learn more about how the combined use of state-of-the-art driving simulator technology and fully equipped proving ground facilities can efficiently bridge the gap between testing and simulation, with particular reference to vehicle dynamics, ride and comfort, ADAS/AV, HMI and motorsport applications.
“Building on the success of the previous events, we are extremely happy to announce the 2020 edition of our International Conference, confirming our intent to organize one major event per year for our community of users,” said Guido Bairati, Vice President Global Sales and Marketing, VI-grade. “We are looking forward to giving our international community an opportunity to share the latest projects and advancements realized using our simulation solutions with an experienced audience.”
Abstracts showcasing state-of-the-art applications of VI-grade products and solutions in the automotive and transportation industries can be submitted until January 31st, 2020.
Additional details on the conference program and the workshops will be progressively published under the link conference.vi-grade.com.
Silverstone, Nov 18th, 2019 - Following significant investment from Envision Group and team owner Lei Zhang, leading Formula E team Envision Virgin Racing has completed expansion works on its Silverstone headquarters – including a new fully operational race driving simulator – ahead of the opening rounds of the new season.
Designed to further develop and improve its already extensive race preparations, the UK-based team moved to its new state-of-the-art facilities – located just a stone’s throw from the home of British motor racing – in 2017 and has now put the finishing touches to the 12,000 sq ft premises.
Central to the expansion programme has been the installation of a cutting edge VI-grade race driving simulator, complete with monocoque and Halo, allowing the team and its drivers Sam Bird and Robin Frijns to prepare for the challenges of the championship’s temporary street circuits.
Speaking ahead of the new season, Envision Virgin Racing Managing Director Sylvain Filippi said: “As an independent team, to have finished third last season was a fantastic achievement, but we know the competition will be even tougher this time around, especially with the introduction of new teams and drivers. We know consistency and preparation is going to be crucial, make or break in fact, so we have put huge emphasis on this from our driver line-up through to our entire team personnel, and now of course with our simulator, which we expect to be very important tool for race strategy preparation and driver training.”
Guido Bairati, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing of VI-grade, who supplied the team’s racing simulator, added: “We are very pleased to announce another success in the motorsport’s industry by reporting the completed installation of our driving simulator at Envision Virgin Racing as a turnkey solution. The installation includes proprietary software from VI-grade and related hardware components, as well as a cockpit provided by Envision Virgin Racing equipped with proprietary active belts technology from VI-grade. The STATIC simulator, including a set of Formula E digitized tracks, provides the team with a complete solution that enables them to virtually test and optimise the performance of their race cars, therefore allowing them to agree on, and then deliver, the optimal race performance. We wish Envision Virgin Racing Team all the best for the new upcoming Formula E season.”
About Envision Virgin Racing
Backed by majority owner Envision Group, the Envision Virgin Racing Formula E Team is one of the founding and leading outfits in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship –the electric street racing series and the world’s first fully-electric international single-seater category. The team exists to energise the Race Against Climate Change, focusing on accelerating the transition to clean, secure and affordable renewable energy, together with the mass adoption of e-mobility.
Launching in 2014, the team was part of the series’ inaugural race held in Beijing and has competed in every race to date with British racer Sam Bird at the helm of the #2 car. Joining the team for a second season is Dutchman Robin Frijns, who successfully returned to Formula E in season five with the Envision Virgin Racing team, securing two wins that season in the new generation car. The team is one of only two to have won races in every season to date - including 10 wins and 25 podiums - and continues to be one of the highest scoring in the championship.
Overseeing the team’s operations at the team’s commercial headquarters in London is Managing Director Sylvain Filippi, who has been with the team since day one, together with Team and Sporting Director Leon Price and Technical Director Chris Gorne working out of the team’s operational arm at its new state-of-the-art facilities at Silverstone Park. Envision Group’s Franz Jung will continue to undertake the Chairman of the Board role in season six for Envision Virgin Racing.
Taken from Maserati official website (for additional information please visit this link).
Modena, November 12th, 2019 – In a surprise move, Maserati is opening the doors to an exclusive and usually off-limits location: the Maserati Innovation Lab.
The Brand’s engineering hub, inaugurated in September 2015 and located on via Emilia Ovest in Modena, is for the first time sharing with the outside world its fundamental role as the Brand’s beating pulse, driving research technology, development and planning.
The Maserati Innovation Lab is a state-of-the-art facility where the cars of today and tomorrow are developed. Here, the digital processes support the product development, applying the exclusive Maserati formula which, by means of an integrated approach, prioritizes the human factor right from the initial phases. Concern with customer needs has been scrupulously incorporated into the virtual simulation process thanks to an exclusive mix of hardware and software. The digital processes supporting product development take place in three major areas: the STATIC Simulator, the latest generation Dynamic Simulator featuring DiM (Driver-in-Motion)technology and the “User eXperience” development labs.
The Product Development hub (or Technical Department) employs more than 1,500 technicians (divided into the Modena offices in Via Emilia Ovest, in Viale Ciro Menotti, via delle Nazioni, in the headquarters of Grugliasco and Balocco). At its headquarters in Via Emilia Ovest covers a total area of 33,744 square meters (of which 14,000 square meters are covered and 19,744 square meters uncovered). More than 1,100 people carry out their activities, the majority of which are engineers, representing 17 different countries. The environment is comprised of a very young and dynamic workforce of an average age of around 37 years. Almost half of the employees are under 35 and 20% are under 30. The organization has grown considerably in recent years, attracting top graduates from the best Italian universities, including those that collaborate with Maserati.
The STATIC Simulator is the starting point for every experience in the Maserati realm of simulation.
The system is composed of a cockpit, three projectors and high computational power. It is a simple system that helps engineers, from the very initial phase of the development process, obtain immediate feedback from the driver, and makes a major contribution to new model validation.
In particular, Maserati engineering ensures a driver-centred strategy even during virtual development, by creating a link between the Hardware In the Loop (HiL) methodology and the simulator. Using this approach, real subsystems such as steering and braking, ABS and ESC can be added in, to create tests that connect physical and simulated components to provide a test-bed for developing all the characteristics of a new vehicle. Last but not least, driver assist systems can be developed, trialled and validated in a safe environment by reproducing the complex scenarios which may arise anywhere in the world.
DYNAMIC Simulator with latest generation DiM (Driver-in-Motion) technology
The Dynamic Simulator featuring latest generation DiM (Driver-in-Motion) technology, the most modern and advanced exemplar found in Europe, supports the Maserati engineers in the development of all the new models. The Dynamic Simulator incorporates state-of-the-art technology and enables full exploitation of systems' integration thanks to the evolution of proprietary control strategies, cutting development times and costs. It also helps to reduce the number of prototypes and ensures that the Virtual Sign-Off is very close to the final product.
With various directions of movement, this tool generates an effective driving experience, emulating in a virtual environment the driving dynamics of a car in the real world on a wide variety of road surfaces or contexts, including the world's top international racing circuits. The simulator makes it possible to test cars on various racetracks on the same day. Modifications to the vehicle can be made with a few simple clicks and this greatly simplifies the analysis of the data gathered.
The majority of simulators utilize six actuators in order to offer six “degrees of freedom”. The innovative dynamic simulator used at the Innovation Lab takes full advantage of nine actuators, thanks to which it can utilize 3 degrees of freedom with the lower platform and 6 with the upper one. In this way it can offer in total 9 degrees of freedom to accurately reproduce the driving characteristics of a car. All of this enables the engineers to precisely analyse the dynamics of the car, in addition to driving performance and comfort, all on the same moving platform. Another particularly interesting characteristic is a very thin cushion of air which makes the entire platform float over the pavement, enabling dynamic, silent and continuous movement thanks to the electric actuators.
The Dynamic Simulator featuring latest generation DiM (Driver-in-Motion) technology offers tried and tested technology that makes it possible to achieve a 50% reduction in time-to-market for new cars, to carry out 90% of all development on the simulator and to reduce by 40% the use of physical prototypes.
Using the simulator makes it possible to study and emulate the electrified vehicles included in Maserati's future plans even before physical tests become possible. Thus, the new opportunities offered by this different propulsion method can be analysed and explored in ways that keep the Maserati DNA absolutely intact. Weight distribution and the location of the centre of gravity have been effectively optimised thanks to the scope for testing hundreds of different configurations. A centralised logic that guarantees all the car's active contents and its electric traction has been developed, maximising dynamic performances since the entire car provides an integrated reaction to all inputs from the driver. Particular care has been focused on exploiting electric motors' vast potential in terms of power and rapid response.
The “User eXperience” development labs are fundamental in the design of the human-machine interfaces, one of the major challenges of the latest Maserati development projects.
The rapid evolution of connectivity and the use of driver assist systems, combined with electrification, generate a vast number of scenarios for multisensorial interaction with the vehicle, which are often completely new and require state-of-the-art tools for managing their extreme complexity, to take full advantage of all the opportunities and deliver a unique user experience, with competitive development times and costs.
The Maserati driver simulator hub includes a lab dedicated to vehicle ergonomics, enabling accurate reproduction of driving posture, visibility and interactions with the on-board controls and displays, and where the vehicle under development can be driven in any scenario with the utmost realism.
The integrated design of the user experience is aided by the effective, coherent visual, acoustic or haptic alerts in highly automated driving mode, from the level of distraction generated by the most frequent operations to the accessible layout of the controls, and full information in the different driving modes.
The ergonomics lab is completed by a set of sophisticated, specialised instrumentation to analyse the various issues that contribute to the user experience. Two examples: the skylight simulator, designed to reproduce lighting conditions at all times of day, at any point in the year and at any latitude. Here there is an in-depth focus on reflection problems, to avoid disturbance at the wheel while still providing solutions with attractive shapes, materials, finishes and colours.
The psycho-acoustics lab where the soundtrack of future Maseratis is developed: the acoustics of the controls, the audio alerts, the driver assist systems and.... much more!
The "User eXperience” development labs support the integrated development of ergonomics, the human-machine interface and the vehicle's perceived quality for genuine "user-centred design" dedicated to delivering the distinctive Maserati user experience.
Darmstadt, Germany and San Francisco, California – November 7, 2019 – VI-grade and Rescale are pleased to announce the availability of VI-CarRealTime, VI-grade’s environment for modeling and simulating vehicles in real-time, to Rescale, a purpose-built SaaS platform for solving the automotive industry challenges with HPC in the cloud.
VI-CarRealTime provides a real-time vehicle simulation environment where the same vehicle model can be used by vehicle dynamics and controls engineers to optimize vehicle and control system performance. The delivery of VI-CarRealTime simulation software on the Rescale platform provides organizations in the automotive industry with the ability to face every simulation challenge through hundreds of parallel simulations on the cloud and on-demand additional software licenses.
VI-CarRealTime can now be purchased directly through Rescale’s platform, providing an efficient, single-vendor procurement of on-demand access to cloud HPC and simulation software.
With Rescale, customers achieve the ultimate flexibility by being able to either run existing traditional licenses or purchase pay-per-use licensing on the platform. They can also access a variety of hardware architectures, including bare metal, virtual servers and the customers’ on-premises infrastructure. In addition, the Rescale administration portal allows company administrators to monitor and control their company’s usage by setting budgets at the user, project, and company levels.
“We’re very excited for the role cloud plays in the future of software and hardware in the loop,” said Joris Poort, CEO of Rescale. “Integrating VI-grade into our platform on-demand will accelerate our joint customers’ development cycles and usher great products to market.”
“The need to maintain a competitive advantage requires access to state-of-the-art software and up-to-date hardware components, which in turn calls for continuous and significant investments” said Guido Bairati, VP Sales & Marketing VI-grade. “Thanks to the Rescale technology, our existing customers will benefit from remote access to all the power of the VI-grade solution in the cloud, offering virtually unlimited computational capabilities to launch hundreds of vehicle simulations at the same time for fast parallel computing.”
VI-grade’s long-lasting customer and partner FEV is already taking advantage of the on-demand availability of VI-CarRealTime via the Rescale platform. “Nowadays, due to the increasing complexity of powertrain and engine, a fully Integrated Simulation-based Powertrain Development Methodology is required to support efficiently the product development and its process” said Michele Caggiano, Managing Director, FEV Italy. “A dedicated methodology for PHEV powertrain simulation and optimization has been developed by FEV via VI-CarRealTime – FEV MiL cosimulation. One part of the methodology is a cloud-based investigation using the RESCALE platform by co-simulating the vehicle model and the powertrain model. The co-simulation platform allows the investigation of the complete system, providing information in terms of emissions and consumption as well as prediction of the impact of powertrain parameters on vehicle performances.” (for more information, see the paper presented by FEV at the 2019 VI-grade International Conference)
Rescale is the global leader for high-performance computing simulations and deep learning in the cloud. Trusted by the Global Fortune 500, Rescale empowers the world’s top scientists and engineers to develop the most innovative new products and perform groundbreaking research and development faster and at a lower cost. Rescale’s platform transforms traditional fixed IT resources into flexible hybrid, private, and public cloud resources—built on the largest and most powerful high-performance computing network in the world. For more information on Rescale’s platform, visit www.rescale.com.
Bridging their respective expertise and experiences in simulation and test, VI-grade and Konrad Technologies will jointly demonstrate the new test method for verifying functional and performance of ADAS and Autonomous Driving features at the Automotive Testing Expo USA 2019 Conference and Exhibition
Novi, US – October 16, 2019 – VI-grade and Konrad Technologies today jointly announced they will demonstrate a new test method, Driver in the Loop (DIL) with Sensor Fusion Test, at the Automotive Testing Expo USA 2019 Conference and Exhibition, to be held from October 22nd to October 24th, 2019 in Novi, Michigan.
“4 years ago, Konrad Technologies and our partners pioneered Sensor Fusion HiL and demonstrated how sensor test combines with HiL tests to validate performance of multi sensor configurations with ADAS algorithms” said Michael Konrad, CEO of Konrad Technologies. “Radar, Camera, and Lidar sensors can be tested at sub-system and system level implementations to verify ADAS capability for automated braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and others. Today, together with the VI-grade team, we will show how the sensor test can be extended to DiL with Sensor Fusion Test so that ADAS functionality can be evaluated and optimized to a higher degree in the lab before beginning road tests.”
“Our Driving Simulators allow users to simulate real-world driving conditions including traffic,” said Guido Bairati, VP of Sales and Marketing, VI-grade. “Adding real sensors into the driving simulation loop allows ADAS/AD functionalities to be tested quickly and safely in a lab environment and adds driver reactions to the test parameters, for a more comprehensive analysis that can then be compared with real drive data for optimization cycles. Through the collaboration with Konrad Technologies, we are able to deliver to the automotive industry a link between physical test and simulation-based testing for ADAS/AD algorithms. We keep bridging the gap between testing and simulation in order to help our customers deliver better products in a shorter time!”
For DIL with Sensor Fusion Test, the objects around the vehicle from the drive simulation software are simulated by Konrad Technologies sensor simulators in real-time. And the output of the sensors is then brought back into the software simulation to close the execution loop.
The collaboration will be presented on a COMPACT Simulator from VI-gradeequipped with sensor technology from Konrad installed in the exhibition area at the Automotive Testing Expo USA 2019 Conference and Exhibition, to be held from October 22nd to October 24th, 2019 in Novi, Michigan.
About Konrad Technologies Worldwide
Konrad Technologies (KT) is a global company and NI Platinum Alliance Partner that offers customized turnkey test solutions in the areas of electronics manufacturing, high-frequency technology, optics and beyond. Since 1993, Konrad Technologies has successfully developed, designed and integrated customer-specific test solutions providing customers with R&D, qualification, and manufacturing of electronic products with tools to fulfill their quality goals, accelerate engineering and development throughput. Customers in a wide range of industries from Automotive, Aerospace and Defense, Wireless Communications, Consumer Electronics, Medical, Semiconductor, General Electronic Manufacturing to Industrial Automation use KT’s integrated hardware and software platform-based solutions to improve their performance worldwide. Konrad Technologies is a founding member of ADAS iiT, a consortium that provides a complete test solution for autonomous driving.
Konrad-Technologies, KT and Konrad GmbH are all representative of Konrad Technologies worldwide. Other products and company names listed are trademarks of their respective companies. For more information about Konrad Technologies Solutions and upcoming events, please visit www.konrad-technologies.com.
Windsor, Ontario, October 2, 2019 – The FCA Automotive Research and Development Centre (ARDC) inaugurated a new Vehicle Dynamics Simulator (VDS) lab recently, featuring the most advanced driving simulator technology available in North America: with nine degrees of freedom and specific driver calibration, the new DiM250 simulator by VI-grade closely duplicates the actual driving experience.
The new VDS is cutting-edge technology that emulates a vehicle’s driving dynamics in a real time, virtual environment. This technology offers the driver a customized virtual immersion that replicates the ride and handling of a specific vehicle on a multitude of simulated road surfaces and driving environments.
Most driving simulators make use of six actuators to deliver basic body motion. However, to accurately reproduce vehicle ride, handling and acceleration characteristics, the VDS system uses nine actuators to create the full range of motion of an actual vehicle.
(Video courtesy of FCA)
A notable feature of the new VDS is a very thin cushion of air, which floats the entire motion platform above the floor like a hovercraft, allowing for a quiet and seamless motion via the electric actuators.
The new simulator has the ability to add subsystems such as brake and steering, ABS (Anti-lock Brake System) and ESC (Electronic Stability Control) controllers to create a hardware in the loop test to better meet functional targets. This strategy helps reduce product development times and lower project validation costs.
“The ability to simulate a drive experience with Hardware-in-the-Loop is key to the engineering efforts of our customers and assists in identifying design changes much earlier in the development process,” said Guido Bairati, VP Sales and Marketing, VI-grade. “By using our simulators, our customers can create a virtual testing environment to assess the ride and handling of a vehicle, perform tests and validation on sensor technology for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) applications, evaluate different Human Machine Interface (HMI) configurations, and test for driver distraction and distraction remedies.”
The simulator can be fitted with any vehicle body, road and environment. To create a visual experience on the five projector screens, data is collected by scanning the environment and roads, such as FCA’s proving grounds in Chelsea, Michigan. The data is then integrated to create a real-time virtual environment that includes elevation changes, off-camber roads and potholes.
(Video courtesy of Windsor Star)
(Video courtesy of The Wheel Network)
Initially, the VDS will be used to support Chassis Vehicle Dynamics, but in the future will be used to support development of ADAS and HMI systems.
Santa Oliva (Spain), Aug 14th, 2019 – Applus+ IDIADA has expanded its virtual development capabilities with the acquisition of two driving simulators from VI-grade, the DiM250 and a compact simulator. These new driving simulators mean IDIADA offers virtual testing, reducing development times in areas such as chassis development, vehicle dynamics and CAV development.
By exploiting the synergies between physical and virtual testing, IDIADA can generate and correlate models in optimal context with the possibility of using IDIADA’s tracks, available as public road data files and high-resolution graphics.
“The driving simulator is a key facility in our chassis and vehicle dynamics development projects as it links up our virtual and real activities.” said Roger Mateu, Head of Vehicle Dynamics and NVH at Applus+ IDIADA.
“Driving Simulators are an essential tool in the development and testing of new vehicles. The level of accuracy of virtual vehicle models, the precision of movements of the motion platform, the availability of rendered tracks has reached an unprecedented level of accuracy. Results coming out from driving simulators are reliable and CAE engineers together with test drivers can take important decisions before building the first prototype and hitting the test track for the first time. IDIADA selected our Dynamic Driving Simulator DiM250 and COMPACT Simulator to bridge the gap between testing and simulation, to help its customers to develop cars faster and better and to provide a multidisciplinary laboratory to find the best trade-off between different vehicle targets. What IDIADA is doing is a sign of the revolution that is happening in the way cars are developed nowadays and engineers and drivers here are getting ready for the near future” commented Alessio Lombardi, South Europe Sales Director at VI-grade.
The new simulation lab’s main feature is the dynamic DiM250 simulator, which can generate longitudinal, transversal and rotational acceleration forces up to 2.5 g, characterized by extremely low latency and high-frequency, replicating a wide range of vehicle dynamics manoeuvres and reproducing complex driving situations. The DiM250 is complemented by a compact driving simulator that shares the same main features, except for the motion system.
About Applus+ IDIADA Applus+ IDIADA offers design, testing, engineering, and homologation services to the automotive industry worldwide. Its reputation is founded on the expertise of an international team of more than 2,600 engineers and technical experts, first-class facilities, client focus and a constant drive towards innovation. An international network of subsidiaries and branch offices in 24 countries, including a world-leading proving ground in China, ensures that customers receive a fast and personalized service. IDIADA’s headquarters, composed of a 360-hectare main technical centre that includes its own proving ground and a comprehensive set of laboratories, is located near Barcelona, Spain.
Marburg, July 25th, 2019 – Another thrilling season of the all-electric Formula E series has come to an end: 13 races with 9 different winners from 8 different teams kept the tension curve constantly high until the final race in New York last week.
In the end, Jean-Eric Vergne won the championship for the second time in succession and also claimed the Team’s title for DS Techeetah – closely followed by vice-champion Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler and its successful customer sport team Envision Virgin Racing. All three winning teams are using a combination of VI-grade static and dynamic driving simulators in order to prepare for the races.
“The race preparation for this Formula E season has nearly 100% taken place on our dynamic driving simulator by VI-grade. It is a crucial tool for our engineers to experiment and to figure out the optimal energy balance before the race, since there is only limited time for it later on the track”, said Joachim Hausner, Coordination Driving Simulator at Audi Motorsport. “But the driving simulator is also essential for the follow-up work after the event in order to evaluate our performance in the race and to double-check some parameters.”
“Since all Formula E races are single-day events, teams do not have the time to change any vehicle settings on-site nor to test the car on the racetrack”, said Diego Minen, Chief Technical Officer, VI-grade. “This strict timetable forces the manufacturers to rely on driving simulation technologies like ours, in order to be fully competitive in the all-electric racing series. We are thrilled to acknowledge that the top 3 teams, and more generically 6 out of the first 10 drivers in the just-finished 5th FoE championship are using our simulator technology and we are looking forward to further contributing to their successes.”
“Formula E represents a new challenge in the evolution of driving simulator technologies from several points of view” added Minen. “Due to high engine torque values at low speed and to special braking strategies for energy recovery, the way electric vehicles accelerate/decelerate is very different from a traditional formula car. This leads to a set of new challenges for our multi-cueing technology used to accurately represent the driver feeling, i.e. the combination of motion platform and body contact with active seat and belts. Moreover, since energy delivery is very carefully planned to exploit the batteries until the finish line, on-the-field track variations vs. the provided FIA track maps lead to the need of last-minute changes in the virtual graphic model. With our technology, we are able to address those requirements and can work in close collaboration with the racing teams obtaining extremely realistic results even in case of such late adjustments.”
Several years ago, motorsport activities have been the main drivers of the development and adoption of driving simulators and they keep on playing a very important role in the development of all technologies around simulators. Today, VI-grade is a key player in the driving simulators industry with more than 50 simulators installed worldwide at OEMs, Motorsport Teams, Tier1 suppliers and Engineering/R&D centers.
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