Modena, December 18, 2019 - Hard work and brilliant ideas should be rewarded – therefore the two winning Virtual Formula teams, Dynamis PRC from Politecnico di Milano and Cal Poly Racing from California Polytechnic State University had the unique chance to visit the recently opened INNOVATION LAB at the Maserati site in Modena and to experience the cutting-edge VI-grade driving simulators live and in action.
Only recently, the Italian premium car manufacturer and long-time customer of VI-grade opened its doors to this usually off-limits location and granted an exclusive insight into the heart of the brand’s driving research technology and development work. Exploiting the full innovation potential, the state-of-the-art facility features the STATIC Simulator as well as the latest generation of the revolutionary DYNAMIC Driving Simulator DiM250, all provided by VI-grade. It’s a place that is bursting with innovation and progress – and that’s exactly what the winners of the 2019 edition of VI-grade’s Virtual Formula were able to experience for one day.
Maserati strongly believes in the collaboration with universities, in fact its environment is comprised of a very young and dynamic workforce of an average age of around 37 years, where almost half of the employees are under 35 and 20% are under 30, and attracts top graduates from the best Italian universities. The company's Innovation Lab is home to simulators capable of reproducing six months' worth of wear and tear in two weeks, thus saving time and money in the development process.
“We are honored to represent the North American territory participating to the private viewing of this very fascinating Innovation Lab that Maserati has founded: for us, having the opportunity to come to Italy and witness the real-world applications of this simulation, which is the next level of what we do with Virtual Formula and our Formula Student teams, is priceless. It’s amazing to perceive the relationship between VI-grade and Maserati and how close they work together to create the best cars” – said Noah Wheeler and Carl Stoye, Cal Poly Racing, winner of the 2019 edition of the Virtual Formula, Electric Drivetrain Category.
“We’d like to thank Maserati and VI-grade for giving us the chance of learning how a development team of first-class cars operates in its everyday activities. Particularly interesting for us was the opportunity of seeing how a company like Maserati uses for commercial purposes, in conjunction with a sophisticated machine like the DiM250 Dynamic Driving Simulator, the same software that we also utilize to develop our Formula Student car” added Marco Antognoli and Mattia Vicari, Dynamis PRC, winner of the 2019 edition of the Virtual Formula, Internal Combustion Category.
“Fortunately, the Maserati Innovation Lab will also collaborate with VI-grade for the upcoming 2020 Virtual Formula season and open its doors again, granting the students an exclusive insight behind the scenes” said Alessio Lombardi, South Europe & UK Sales Director, VI-grade. “Once more, the winners will have the unique opportunity to test the advanced driving simulators used by many OEMs, suppliers and motorsport teams to develop and fine tune their cars, but also to gain relevant experience and knowledge for further races carried out by FSAE. This initiative, jointly organized by us and Maserati, is further proof of how important it is to promote innovation at an early stage and to bridge the gap between universities and the automotive industry.”
About the Maserati Innovation Lab
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. By applying these advanced driving simulation solutions right from the starting point of the engineering process, it is 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 40 % the use of physical prototypes. At the same time Maserati is able to strengthen its driver centric strategy during virtual development by combining the Hardware in the Loop (HiL) methodology and the simulators.
About Virtual Formula
VI-grade organizes on a regular basis the Virtual Formula, a competition based upon the rules and regulations of the popular Formula SAE and Formula Student. Based on the usage of VI-Motorsport, VI-grade’s interactive simulation environment for motorsport vehicle modeling and dynamic analysis, Virtual Formula, now at its 11th edition with more than 1000 Formula Student participating teams since its foundation back in 2009, requests all registered teams to use our state-of-the-art racing simulation software to find the best set-up for their car. The participants will then have the chance not only to learn more about vehicle dynamics software, but also to join the VI-grade network of vehicle specialists and software developers. The two winning teams in the internal combustions and electric vehicle category will not only receive unlimited access to the vehicle dynamics software but also the invitation to the annual VI-grade International Conference and the opportunity to visit the Maserati Innovation Lab in Modena, Italy.