Darmstadt (Germany), Jul 14th, 2021 – VI-grade, the simulation and driving simulator company that accelerates product innovation by bridging the gap between simulation and physical testing, today announced driving simulator product line extensions that allow customers to flexibly configure and upgrade their simulators over time.
Previously, customers needed to decide up-front exactly what capabilities and performance they expected to need in their driving simulator and budget accordingly. Now, VI-grade is introducing the ability to start with a full cockpit static simulator and upgrade as needed. To facilitate upgrades, the Company has introduced a hexapod-only motion platform, the DiM50, that is fully consistent with the upper stage of the existing DiM150 and DiM250 simulators.
The DiM50 simulator is an entry-level dynamic simulation solution for those needing to perform ride and ADAS simulation, as well as basic handling maneuvers and provides a higher degree of realism with respect to a STATIC Simulator at an attractive price point. Sharing the same industry-leading hexapod architecture already featured in VI-grade’s popular DYNAMIC Driving Simulator models DiM150 and DiM250, the DiM50 represents a natural evolution of VI-grade’s STATIC Simulator technology and can be further upgraded to a 9 degrees of freedom DiM150 or DiM250 model through the addition of a baseframe and three planar motion actuators. DiM50 features a wide array of automotive applications ranging from ride & comfort, basic vehicle dynamics and control system design, up to HMI/ADAS applications and driver training in motorsports.
DiM50 joins the extensive line fully scalable, configurable, and upgradeable driving simulators from VI-grade, which span from desk-size simulators up to full-scale dynamic simulators. As with all VI-grade driving simulators, the DiM50 incorporates a wide array of features, including:
VI-grade’s software stack
proven motion platform
active components (seats, belts, brakes, …)
hard-real-time computing platform
The DiM50 also provides unparalleled flexibility by supporting 3rd party software components through VI-grade’s open environment in line with the VI-Certified program.
“We are very excited to address an unmet market need with a new driving simulator that further expands our existing product line” said Diego Minen, Chief Technology Officer, VI-grade. “DiM50 leverages the same, proven hexapod technology already featured in our widely used DiM150 and DiM250 and lets users perform ride analysis, ADAS testing and vehicle dynamics simulation with greater and enhanced realism compared to a STATIC Simulator.”
“Today’s DiM50 announcement offers our clients and the market an unprecedented opportunity to purchase a dynamic simulator with a superior degree of realism combined with a low price point. But what makes the DiM50 stand out is that it enables to preserve its investment by providing a potential upgrade path to DiM150 and DiM250.” added Guido Bairati, VP Sales and Marketing, VI-grade. “We believe that DiM50 presents the ideal solution in terms of compromise between performance and investment which lends itself well to universities, research centers, suppliers and motorsport teams as well as automotive OEMs that already invested in bigger simulators.”
Shanghai, China, June 16, 2021 – VI-grade today announced that major Chinese automotive manufacturing company FAW (First Automobile Works) invested in a VI-grade DESKTOP Simulator, to improve digital chassis R&D capabilities of luxury car brand Hongqi and shorten their development cycle.
By means of the new DESKTOP Simulator, to be installed at the company’s headquarters in Changchun, Jilin, China, FAW engineers expect to further shorten their development cycles focusing on virtual objective chassis evaluation, chassis electronic control algorithm performance and tire dynamics testing and verification as early as possible. At the same time, since the DESKTOP Simulator relies on the same tool chain as the STATIC and DYNAMIC DiM Driving Simulator, it also represents an optimal technical reserve for the application of a more advanced simulator later on.
“In the trend of the new four modernizations in the automotive industry, the driving simulator technology is continuously gaining importance. All the new technical concepts, such as Digital twin, Agile development and User Experience-driven Innovation, are also driving virtual development technologies like driving simulators forward. FAW Group has been intensively involved in the field of vehicle and tire dynamics for many years and has extensive chassis testing and accurate modeling capabilities. Driving simulator technology research also has been going on for ten years.” said Lun Li, Manager FAW NBD Chassis Testing Development at FAW Hongqi. “In the end, we chose VI-grade. The most important thing is its solutions and the communication platform of users around the world. FAW Hongqi hopes that in the future, with VI-grade and their partners, the chassis performance can be greatly improved, the development cycle can be shortened, and our users’ expectations can be fully met."
“We are very excited to report the adoption of our VI-grade DESKTOP Simulator at Hongqi”, said Richard Liu, China Country Manager at VI-grade. “The DESKTOP Simulator is the ideal tool for Hongqi to quickly verify the performance of the electronic control technology and chassis electronic control algorithm. We are looking forward to further expanding our cooperation with Hongqi and the entire FAW Group.”
Darmstadt (Germany), Jun 29th, 2021 – VI-grade, a leading provider of best-in-class driving simulation solutions, today announced the completion of the installation and commissioning of the DiM250 DYNAMIC Driving Simulator at CEVT, Geely Holding Group’s Sweden-based innovation center for future mobility solutions. The driving simulator has been installed at Geely’s recently expanded campus in Gothenburg, Uni3 by Geely, significantly enhancing on-site research and development capabilities.
CEVT selected the complete turn-key solution from VI-grade, with the DiM250 simulator serving as the foundation combined with the VI-DriveSim software suite and the complete active technology offering (belts, seat, brake and shakers). This allows driving dynamics and active safety systems to be experienced in an even more realistic environment right from the start of the development process. The driving simulator will be used primarily for Vehicle Dynamics, Ride & Comfort as well as ADAS applications in the development of new vehicles, with particular reference to the development of future mobility solutions.
“The automotive industry is undergoing a transformation from the old ways of the car to the new future of mobility, where the experience of the customer is at heart and where we provide a service that is highly valuable. At CEVT, we have the vision and ambition as well as the experience to do this and with the simulator we have enhanced our skillset to further drive this change”, said Mats Fägerhag CEO at CEVT.
“We have now had our first-hand experience of operating and using a full scale, advanced driving simulator and we are impressed with the capabilities that the DiM250 gives. Not only can we quickly test a lot of ideas that would be expensive, time consuming or too complex to perform in real life but we’re also noticing how well the simulator pushes the collaboration and aspirations of the different teams across CEVT. We are shaping the way of mobility going forwards and the simulator is a crucial tool for that purpose, creating value for our customers in the end”, said Albin Gröndahl, CAE Engineer and Project Manager for the Driving Simulator at CEVT.
“We are very happy to announce the completed installation and commissioning of our DiM250 DYNAMIC Driving Simulator at CEVT” said Guido Bairati, VP Global Sales and Marketing, VI-grade. “The DiM250 represents a significant expansion of CEVT's capacity to develop mobility solutions and it is, after the one at Volvo, the second DiM simulator installed in the Gothenburg area belonging to the Geely group. Driving Simulators are becoming an important development tool that increase collaboration between OEMs and suppliers, while decreasing physical testing and furthering innovation.”
To reproduce vehicle movements and accelerations, the DiM solution takes a different path to driving simulation based on a patented revolutionary design with nine actuators. The resulting configuration with its 9 degrees of freedom enables it to go beyond the basic six-actuator design of a hexapod or similar, thus providing a larger workspace while maintaining a high stiffness and low latency. 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 both vehicle dynamics investigation and ride and comfort on the same driving simulator.
Darmstadt, May 27, 2021 - VI-grade, a leading provider of best-in-class software products and services for advanced applications in the field of system level simulation, announced today that over 2,000 attendees registered to the virtual ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit, held May 20-21, 2021. This represents a significant increase from 2020’s virtual event. 100% of attendees surveyed after the summit indicated their intent to attend VI-grade’s 2022 event, thereby offering a ringing endorsement of the valuable insights and information provided by the ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit.
Targeted at innovators in the global automotive industry, the free-of-charge 2-day Summit provided VI-grade customers and technology partners with a high caliber forum showcasing how leading automotive companies employ VI-grade’s software and simulation solutions to solve complex product development challenges. Keynote speakers on Day 1 included Audi Sport, NIO, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Stellantis, and Multimatic. VI-grade customer presentations from CEVT, Mercedes-AMG, Bentley and Politecnico di Milano addressed use cases in Powertrain, Vehicle Dynamics, NVH and HMI disciplines.
Held virtually again this year due to the covid-19 pandemic, the ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit was carefully designed and programmed to give all participants – presenters, sponsors, and users – ample opportunities for learning about and sharing new technologies, as well as networking.
The ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit was also a platform for announcements pertaining to VI-grade’s product development achievements and acquisitions:
Increasing accessibility of VI-grade’s technology through a global network of SimCenters where customers can rent VI-grade driving simulators. Located in Udine, Italy; Millbrook, UK; Detroit, MI; and Tokyo, Japan. Joining those ranks in 2021 will be VI-grade’s first SimCenter in China in conjunction with partner, Idiada. It will be located at the LingLong Tire proving ground in Yantai, Shandong province.
Product innovations & enhancements including:
a revolutionary extension of VI-grade’s simulator product line based on cable-driven technology
new features in VI-WorldSim, the revolutionary simulation software product allowing simulating ADAS and autonomous vehicles
VI-Certified, a program that expands the ecosystem of complementary products and services that work together with our simulators
high-fidelity NVH reproduction capabilities on the new COMPACT NVH Simulator
VI-grade’s efforts in terms of acquisitions: Pending regulatory approval, VI-grade’s parent company, Spectris, recently announced the acquisition of Concurrent Real-Time, the real-time platform provider for VI-grade technology for many years. This comes on the heels of acquisitions in 2019 of Righthook and in 2020 of the NVH simulator team from Brüel & Kjær and the acquisition of Imtec, a leader in mechatronics and automation.
“We were delighted to welcome so many attendees to the ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit this year” said VI-grade President, Bob Ryan. “The sheer number of registrations for the Summit is a clear indication that the automotive industry sees enormous value in the use of VI-grade’s driver-in-the-loop vehicle simulators for accelerating the development process and was eager to learn more about our future product development roadmap and acquisition plans,” he continued.
Darmstadt, May 12, 2021 - VI-grade, a leading provider of best-in-class software products and services for advanced applications in the field of system level simulation, today announced a milestone in the current number of registrations as well as the final agenda for the “2021 Zero Prototypes Summit”. The event will be held on May 20 - 21 2021, beginning daily at 2pm Central European Standard Time (CEST) / 10am Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).
The event builds on the success of VI-grade’s previous virtual events and boasts an impressive slate of global innovators and thought-leaders from industry-leading companies employing VI-grade’s simulation software and driving simulators to accelerate their vehicle development processes. The first day of the summit is fully dedicated to Voice of the Customer presentations, featuring keynote and technical presentations from Goodyear, Multimatic, NIO, Stellantis, Mercedes-AMG, Bentley Motors Limited, CEVT and Politecnico di Milano. On the second day, VI-grade’s technical partners will share and discuss their current projects in dedicated break-out sessions, including presentations from cosin scientific software, Fraunhofer Institut ITWM, MegaRide, Danisi Engineering, Applus+ IDIADA, HORIBA MIRA, 3D Mapping, MSC Software, rescale, HBK, BlackBerry QNX and Smart Eye. These sessions will be followed by 5 virtual discipline-specific Roundtables on Ride & Handling, Motorsport, ADAS, HMI and NVH, led by top-class moderators and panelists.
The free-of-charge event also boasts a fully functional virtual exhibition area where all VI-grade sponsors and partners have the opportunity to showcase their solutions to all participants.
“The past year has been difficult for everyone in the global business community because of the challenges presented by Covid-19. We are overwhelmed by the high degree of interest from our community and the number of registrations for our 2021 ZERO PROTOTYPES SUMMIT”, said Guido Bairati, Vice President Global Sales & Marketing, VI-grade.“We especially look forward to providing our valued customers, partners and followers with exclusive insights into how the major players in the worldwide automotive industry currently use simulation and driving simulators to push the envelope and accelerate the development of new vehicles, thus enabling them to get ever closer to virtual sign-off.”
Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Europe’s leading automotive engineering consultancy, HORIBA MIRA, today confirmed that its Vehicle Attribute Development Team had concluded an investment in a new VI-grade COMPACT Simulator to underscore its proprietary Voice of the Customer approach to vehicle development.
The foundation of HORIBA MIRA’s attribute engineering process is focused on the driver experience as the key determiner of engineering decisions; the new Driver-in-the-Loop capability further embeds this philosophy by incorporating the driver’s subjective assessments at the earlier, virtual stage of the design cycle.
Tom Lee, Vehicle Dynamics and NVH Manager at HORIBA MIRA said, “Adding the driver into the loop at an earlier stage in the virtual development phase not only results in better overall engineering decisions, but it is wholly consistent with our Voice of the Customer approach to attribute engineering. This investment in our new simulator facility underlines our ongoing commitment at HORIBA MIRA to remain the market leaders by utilising the knowledge, experience and quality of our engineers with the latest engineering tools required to deliver first-class results for our customers.”
Guido Bairati, VP Global Sales & Marketing at VI-grade said, “We are happy to confirm the adoption and installation of our COMPACT Simulator at HORIBA MIRA. This demonstrates that testing activities and simulation are converging to develop better cars in shorter timeframes. Driving simulators provide engineers with subjective feedback earlier in the design cycle, enhance later-stage prototype testing and help to anticipate potential issues. The level of accuracy of VI-grade driving simulators make it possible to develop, test and fine-tune new vehicles with a precision never seen before.”
The VI-grade facility has been fully commissioned and is now operational as part of the company’s Vehicle Attribute Development Team’s services. The solution will ensure test and development timelines are shortened, costs are reduced and ultimately product performance is enhanced for the company’s OEM and Tier 1 customers.
Darmstadt / Copenhagen, May 5th, 2021 - VI-grade, a leading provider of best-in-class software products and services for advanced applications in the field of system level simulation, and iMotions, the world’s leading software platform for studying human behavior, today announced a partnership that will significantly advance driving simulator research. By integrating iMotions’ biosensor research platform into VI-grade’s driving simulators, users can seamlessly study and process behavioral and simulation data in one platform.
Highlights of the partnership between iMotions and VI-grade include these key advances in behavioral and simulation processing:
Document sessions with combined video and biometric recordings, allowing qualitative observation in real time and after the fact.
Derive insights from biosensors that can reveal states such as distraction, stress, and frustration when solving tasks under different conditions.
Applied use cases can be accelerated in the areas of HMI and usability, driver experience, and infrastructure testing
"Technological advances are transforming the auto experience in ways that necessitate a deeper understanding and analysis of real human behavior, which is why we’re thrilled to partner with VI-grade on its simulation platform,” said Peter Hartzbech, CEO, iMotions A/S.“We’ve developed a joint, state-of-the-art, integrated solution that provides deeper insight into how users perceive, understand, and decide to interact with simulation and, ultimately, the real world. Our customers now can access, in a single platform, live streams of data from the simulator along with physiological and behavioral data from the participant, such as eye-tracking, heart rate, skin conductance, brain activity, facial expressions, and much more.”
“It is my pleasure to announce the collaboration of VI-grade with iMotions, in providing professional human behavioral research solutions to the automotive community”, said Tony Spagnuolo, Vice President Business Development, VI-grade. “We have noticed a significant growth in demand for understanding human cognition, visual attention, emotion and behavior in driving simulator research. By integrating the iMotions software platform into our driving simulators, we are able to provide our customers access to more detailed insights into drivers’ performance, cognitive and emotional states. To ensure a native application of the software, we have included iMotions in our VI-Certified Program, our elevated partner program aimed at validating 3rd party software operation of VI-grade simulators.”
iMotions will participate as a partner in the upcoming 2021 Zero Prototypes Summit, VI-grade’s global connected event targeted at innovators in the automotive industry focused on how industry-leading companies use VI-grade’s simulation software and driving simulators to accelerate their vehicle development process. iMotions will participate as a panelist in a virtual roundtable dedicated to HMI applications scheduled for May 21st, 2021.
Hamilton (Ontario, Canada) and Darmstadt (Germany), April 21, 2021 – VI-grade today announced that McMaster Automotive Resource Centre (MARC) adopted the VI-grade STATIC Simulator, which has already been installed and commissioned at the university’s premises in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The new simulator is part of the MARCdrive lab and is applied for the development of automotive components and control systems, especially related to powertrain electrification as well as for the development of autonomous systems, human-machine interfaces and driver monitoring systems.
The STATIC Simulator represents a significant extension for the university's automotive research capacities, particularly for MARC, which is one of Canada’s leading research facilities in transportation electrification and smart mobility. The driver's perception and inputs can now be incorporated when developing the new systems and human feedback can be considered early in the design cycle. Thus, the performance of a component can be tested well before building a first prototype, making the “drive-before-build” approach becoming a reality. This allows researchers at MARC to steadily move to a more virtual environment to test and enhance the performance of their automotive components and control systems that would usually require a physical prototype.
“Much of our design at MARC is done virtually, so being able to test our systems on board of a vehicle allows us insights about the system’s performance that we wouldn’t have unless we prototyped them,” said Dr. Ali Emadi, Professor and Canada Excellence Research Chair Laureate, McMaster University. “For this reason, the possibility to have a driver-in-the-loop in the VI-grade’s STATIC Simulator, allowing us to include the driver’s perception when testing our systems, as well as the ability of testing the performance of a component with other vehicle systems before prototyping it, is of great value for our organization.”
“We are delighted to report the installation of our STATIC Simulator at McMaster University”, said Guido Bairati, VP of Sales and Marketing, VI-grade. “We are happy of having the chance to leverage our professional driving simulator solutions at the renowned McMaster Automotive Resource Center in Hamilton, Ontario, which is situated in a leading jurisdiction for auto production in North America. We are looking forward to witnessing and facilitating all applications of our STATIC Simulator as important tool for research and development activities for the industry and as precious device for educational purposes.”
Darmstadt, Germany, April 1st, 2021 – VI-grade today announced the acquisition of 100% of the outstanding shares of Concurrent Real-Time, Inc., a global provider of high-performance, real-time computational hardware and software solutions, from Battery Ventures, a Boston-based PE firm, for a purchase consideration of $166.7 million (£121.2 million) in cash, subject to customary closing conditions. The transaction is in line with VI-grade’s strategy to enhance and grow its market-leading simulator platform businesses and fully integrate Hardware-in-the-Loop (HiL) technology.
Headquartered in Pompano Beach, Florida, USA, Concurrent Real-Time (Concurrent-RT) is a leading developer and supplier of hard real-time operating systems, software, and hardware that delivers simulation and control platforms for a wide range of mission-critical aerospace and automotive applications. As such, Concurrent-RT shares a number of end-markets with VI-grade where customers demand low-latency real-time solutions involving software-in-the-loop (SiL), hardware-in-the-loop (HiL), and people-in-the-loop (PiL).
The combination of the two businesses will build on VI-grade’s market-leading position in simulation software and simulator solutions by enhancing its dynamic performance, broadening its product portfolio, while improving its delivery capability and market reach. The combination will create a virtual simulation and testing company of scale in the high-growth R&D markets within automotive and aerospace and defence.
Concurrent-RT has approximately 115 employees spread across the U.S., Japan, China, and Europe.
The acquisition is expected to close in Q2 pending regulatory review and approvals.
Additional information on this transaction can be found at this link.
Darmstadt (Germany), March 31st, 2021 – VI-grade today announced a partnership with BlackBerry QNX to enable real-time active sound design for the entire vehicle soundscape by integrating QNX’s Active Sound Design software (QNX ASD) with VI-grade’s NVH Simulator.
This partnership represents a significant step forward in sound design. Until now, vehicle sounds have been designed in a studio, separate from the natural vehicle sounds from engine, motors, tires, wind and other sources. These sounds were then auditioned and tested on physical prototypes, which was both time and cost-intensive, and often resulted in going back to the drawing board to create new sounds more suitable for the actual vehicle sound environment.
Thanks to this partnership, the QNX ASD software is now integrated with the VI-grade NVH Simulators, allowing designers to work interactively with a complete NVH simulation of the target vehicle and to experience the sound design in a highly realistic way. The VI-grade NVH Simulator connects QNX ASD to other sound and real-time data sources in the vehicle, so that tests and modifications can be performed much earlier in the design process. This drastically reduces the need for physical prototypes and saves development time and costs.
“We are thrilled to announce this partnership with VI-grade,” said Len Layton, Acoustics Business Development Manager, BlackBerry QNX. “The integration of QNX ASD with the VI-grade NVH Simulator allows automotive sound designers and NVH engineers to design and tune sounds for vehicles much faster and more efficiently than ever before, eliminating slow and costly development on prototype vehicles and moving this development to the desktop. By designing sounds with the full vehicle soundscape as context, better sounds can be designed and implemented faster.”
“Design of ASD sound profiles, whether for engine sound enhancement, electric vehicle sound enhancement or exterior sound for meeting Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems (AVAS) standards, used to be performed separately from the noise and vibration aspects of the vehicle platform. The ASD sound profiles were first developed in the “vacuum” of the studio, and then were combined with the rest of the vehicle sounds only on actual vehicles, which of course requires prototype vehicles and significant time horizons” said Dave Bogema, Director NVH Solutions, VI-grade. “With this combination of technology, sounds can be designed and tuned on a computer, in the context of all other vehicle sounds, over the entire operating envelope of the vehicle and evaluated with a free driving, driver-in-the-loop simulation, drastically reducing the need for prototype vehicle testing and tuning.”
QNX Active Sound Design is a comprehensive vehicle sound solution that allows designers to create the next generation of dynamic automotive sound designs with an unrivalled interactive workflow. Designers can design sounds interactively on the desktop using the QNX® LiveAMP sound design and tuning tool and then deploy directly to automotive embedded systems with the full confidence that their intended results will be realized in production. With the integration with the VI-grade NVH simulator, QNX ASD adds another level of capability that allows designers to work interactively with a complete NVH simulation of the target vehicle to experience their designs in a highly realistic way.
Darmstadt, Germany, March 24, 2021 – VI-grade today announced the “2021 Zero Prototypes Summit”, to be held on May 20th - 21st, 2021. This event expands on VI-grade’s previous virtual events and boasts an impressive slate of speakers from industry-leading companies using VI-grade’s simulation software and Driving Simulators to accelerate the vehicle development process. It will also feature a fully functional virtual exhibition area in which all sponsors and partners have an opportunity to showcase their solutions during dedicated sessions open to all participants.
This free-of-charge event is targeted towards executive-level engineering managers and experienced design engineers from the major automotive and transportation OEMs, Tier1 suppliers, motorsport teams, universities and research centers worldwide. Held on May 20th, 2021 from 2:00pm to 6:00pm Central European Standard Time (CEST) with additional discipline- and partner-dedicated sessions on May 21st, the Zero Prototypes Summit will employ the most sophisticated web conferencing techniques available on the market to ensure seamless and uninterrupted streaming. In addition to the virtual event, VI-grade also plans to hold limited availability, in-person versions of the Summit in its advanced global SimCenters located in Udine (Italy), Millbrook (UK), Detroit (USA), and Tokyo (Japan), thus virtually connecting its worldwide community of customers, partners and followers.
Participants will gain insight into how the major players in the worldwide automotive industry currently use simulation and driving simulators to accelerate the development of new vehicles, thus enabling them to get ever closer to virtual sign-off. Keynote presentations will be delivered by executives from Goodyear, Multimatic, NIO and Stellantis. Technical presentations and other special contributions from our user community will be announced soon. Additionally, this year’s event will also offer application-specific virtual roundtables, giving the community the opportunity to exchange and discuss the latest trends in driving simulation.
“Building on the success of our 2020 Virtual International Conference, this year we are very excited to offer our community an enhanced, hybrid version of our main event” said Guido Bairati, Vice President Global Sales & Marketing, VI-grade. “We are especially looking forward to providing our valued customers, partners and followers with a platform that enables participants to share their latest projects and advancements achieved with VI-grade solutions. More importantly, this allows them an opportunity to highlight the benefits and advantages gained by employing Driving Simulators in the vehicle development process.”
The event will also feature a fully functional virtual exhibition area in which all sponsors and partners will have the opportunity to present and showcase their solutions during dedicated sessions open to all participants. Confirmed sponsors of the Virtual Conference so far are: Applus+ IDIADA, Danisi Engineering, Rebel Dynamics, SAGInoMIYA, Altair, Barco, Concurrent Real-Time, Cosin, HBK, MegaRide, Multimatic, 3D Mapping, domeprojection, Heeds, Imtec Engineering, Horiba Mira, Konrad Technologies, Rescale, Screenline, SimCoVR, Smart Eye. Additional sponsors and exhibitors are planned to be added in the coming days.
The 2021 Zero Prototypes Summit is free-of-charge and open to all. Register now at https://conference.vi-grade.com. Additional details about the event will be added to the VI-grade website as they become available.
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.”
Darmstadt, January 20, 2021 – VI-grade today announced that Nardò Technical Center, which has been operated by Porsche Engineering Group GmbH since 2012, created a virtual proving ground for its testing and engineering facility located in the city of Nardò, Apulia, Italy. 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 Nardò Technical Center virtual proving ground data files will be made available for purchase and rental on the VI-grade website from the beginning of 2021.
“We are glad of this collaboration with VI-grade; the virtualization of our tracks aligns perfectly with our strategy to become more and more an engineering center of excellence offering to our customers also a wide services portfolio”, said Antonio Gratis, Managing Director, Nardò Technical Center.“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.”
“We are very pleased that the Nardò Technical Center chose to cooperate with VI-gradein order to provide digital tracks and virtual graphic scenario”, said Alessio Lombardi, South Europe & UK Sales Director, 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.”
With over 700 hectares of extension and a wide variety of testing tracks and facilities, the Nardò Technical Center ranks among the most important and renowned proving grounds (the unique 12,6 km Circular Track and the Car Dynamic Platform were recently fully renovated) as well as among the most safety ones for automotive OEMS and tire manufacturers worldwide. Particularly in the area of handling performance, the Nardò Technical Center, together with the Nürburgring, is one of the frequently used proving grounds in Europe, enabling a variety of durability, reliability, vehicle dynamics and tire tests. By taking full advantage of the synergies between physical and virtual testing, the Nardò Technical Center now has the possibility to further expand its testing capabilities, providing its customers with the digital clone of their tracks, which is also available on the VI-grade website from beginning of 2021.
VI-Road enables 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-GraphSim provides 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 (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.
Additional information, registration form and detailed schedule of the competition are available here: /virtualformula
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.