Darmstadt, Germany, December 7th, 2022 – VI-grade, the simulation and driving simulator company that accelerates product innovation by bridging the gap between simulation and physical testing, today announced the 2023 edition of its popular Virtual Formula competition.
For over ten years, VI-grade has promoted this competition to encourage SAE and Formula Student teams to learn how to use professional vehicle dynamics simulation tools. Thanks to a new regulatory change, more engineering students from around the world are eligible to participate in the 2023 Virtual Formula. Prestigious technical sponsors Automobili Lamborghini, Bugatti Rimac and Multimatic Inc. are lending their support to VI-grade in this important student engineering endeavor, and thus, encouraging young engineers to sharpen their virtual design skillset.
Participation in the Virtual Formula Competition is free-of-charge with a registration deadline of January 15th, 2023. Registered teams will have access to VI-grade’s state-of-the-art simulation tools, including VI-Motorsport, VI-grade’s motorsport simulation software, as well as a DESKTOP Simulator license including the VI-DriveSim and VI-GraphSim software products for real-time vehicle simulation and comprehensive driving simulator control.
More global engineering students will be eligible to participate in the 2023 Virtual Formula, thanks to new rules including the Optimization and Digital-Twin categories. The Optimization Category provides teams without a physical prototype with an electric vehicle model from VI-grade. The competition consists of an offline phase and an online phase. The goal in the offline phase is to improve and fine-tune the model’s performance. Teams will then compete against each other using their own desktop simulator in an online race event.
The Digital-Twin category also comprises an offline and online phase. Teams will create a digital twin of their 2023 Formula Student race car in VI-Motorsport. As in the Optimization category, the performance of each team’s own vehicle model (internal combustion & EV) is optimized in a dedicated offline phase. Before moving directly to the online phase, the Digital-Twin category features a technical review phase in between the offline and the online phase. During this technical review, teams have the unique opportunity to present their design decisions directly to the technical sponsors. Once the technical review phase is complete, teams will competitively race their VI-Motorsport vehicle models in an online event, utilizing their own desktop simulator.
The winning teams in each category (Optimization, Digital-Twin EV & Digital-Twin IC) who score the best lap time during the online race will win the competition. Winners will be awarded with either a hardware upgrade of their desktop simulator, or an all-expenses paid trip to one of VI-grade’s worldwide SimCenters.
“As the winner in the EV category of the 2022 Virtual Formula, I would like to express my congratulations to VI-grade for this competition. The software is easy to use, but at the same time it is so powerful and effective that we have decided without a doubt to continue applying it for the development of our vehicle and its control system”, commented Luca Massano, Head of Vehicle Dynamics and Control Systems Division at Squadra Corse (Formula SAE Team from Politecnico di Torino).
“We have participated in the last two editions of the Virtual Formula, having won in the 2022 Internal Combustion category of the 2022 competition. We have gained great value for our team from the participation. The Virtual Formula has significantly helped us test all areas of vehicle dynamics, even those that are more difficult for Formula Student teams to work on”, said Matteo Civale, Dynamics Division Manager at UniBo Motorsport (FSAE team of University of Bologna). “We also use the software to develop our FSAE cars, so it's a fundamental tool for the whole team. We’re looking forward to the 2023 edition of the Virtual Formula!”
Additional information, registration form, technical specifications and requirements and detailed schedule of the competition are available at http://virtualformula.vi-grade.com/
Darmstadt, Germany, November 30th, 2022 – VI-grade, the simulation and driving simulator company that accelerates product innovation by bridging the gap between simulation and physical testing, today announced the launch of CARE and CARE+, a superior maintenance program, guaranteeing customers maximum operational uptime for their Driving Simulators.
Driving simulators have become an integral part of customers' vehicle development processes. The sudden failure of an essential component not only poses an enormous safety risk but also leads to significant cost and time delays in the entire development chain. VI-grade is eliminating the risk of sudden, unexpected driving simulator downtime by introducing the CARE and CARE+ programs. These comprehensive maintenance programs offer customers real added value beyond standard preventive and corrective maintenance programs by giving customers the benefit of maximum utility from their driving simulators.
VI-grade offers two different support levels within its maintenance program.
The CARE program is VI-grade’s entry-level, basic support maintenance program covering:
Annual driving simulator inspection, with a focus on the simulator’s set up and mechanical performance
Thorough inspection and checkup of all wearable parts. This ensures the driving simulator remains in optimal condition and ensures continuous performance reliability.
Should a component need replacement due to malfunction or wear and tear, it will be ordered after the inspection and replaced at the customer's expense.
The CARE Program also includes the annual software upgrade installation. VI-grade engineers assist customers with software update installations and ensure they are fully operational with all driving simulator components.
The comprehensive CARE+ program builds on VI-grade’s basic CARE maintenance program and offers additional value. As with the CARE program, the CARE+ program includes an extensive annual inspection of the driving simulator hardware, as well as software upgrade installations performed by the VI-grade team. The CARE+ program offers driving simulator customers these additional benefits:
Immediate access to an exclusive spare part inventory previously created by VI-grade to replace any faulty or defective component. This allows the new part to be immediately installed, with the least possible driving simulator downtime and delay in the customer’s entire development chain.
30% of the annual fee for the CARE+ Program is already considered an advance payment for the required spare parts. If no hardware components fail or need to be replaced, 30% of the amount paid will be credited at the end of the year and carried over to the next year.
“I am pleased to announce the launch of our two new customer maintenance programs, CARE, and in particular, our CARE+ program, which provide our customers with premium service and maintenance for their driving simulators”, commented Francesco Ambrogi, Global Service Manager at VI-grade. “Three customers are already benefiting from the CARE+ program. VI-grade is quickly moving to address the increasing demand for a high-level service program that provides real value beyond standard preventive and corrective maintenance. Exclusive access to a spare parts inventory created by VI-grade is critical to keeping customers’ driving simulators running smoothly year-round, particularly with the current disruption in global supply chains.”
Darmstadt, Germany, November 9th, 2022 – VI-grade, the simulation and driving simulator company that accelerates product innovation by bridging the gap between simulation and physical testing, today announced the official recap of its highly successful 2022 ZERO PROTOTYPES Summits held on May 18-19 in Udine (Italy), September 22 in Tokyo (Japan) and October 12 in Novi, MI (USA). Over 500 representatives from major automotive and transportation OEMs, Tier1 suppliers, motorsport teams, research centers and partner companies attended the global event series in-person. VI-grade’s flagship event, hosted at SimCenter Udine (Italy), drew an additional 800+ virtual participants from 42 countries who followed the live broadcast, resulting in an overall record attendance.
A total of 40 Keynote and Technical Presentations by leading OEMs and suppliers provided the worldwide VI-grade community with exclusive insights into how major global players in the automotive industry are actively using simulation, driving simulators and HiL in their quest to achieve zero prototypes and virtual sign-off. All presentations were recorded and are now accessible on the VI-grade website and VI-grade’s YouTube Channel.
Because both the European and North American ZERO PROTOTYPES Summits were held in VI-grade’s SimCenter facilities, those attendees also had the opportunity to test-drive the full range of VI-grade driving simulators. 20 application-specific demo sessions allowed participants to experience firsthand the value and benefits of using VI-grade's state-of-the-art driving simulators to refine the development process and thus accelerate innovation.
Looking ahead to 2023, VI-grade is pleased to announce the dates for its 2023 ZERO PROTOTYPES Summits:
International / EMEA ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit at SimCenter Udine (Italy) on May 10-11, 2023
North American ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit in Novi, MI (USA) on September 14, 2023
Japan ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit in Tokyo, Japan on September 21, 2023
China ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit (location & date TBA, pending Covid restrictions)
“We are truly impressed by the great interest our worldwide community has shown in our series of ZERO PROTOTYPES Summits, as evidenced by the number of attendees and the consistently positive feedback," commented Guido Bairati, Managing Director at VI-grade. “We look forward to building on this year's success as our ZERO PROTOTYPES Summits become one of the automotive industry's premier events. We’re pleased that our ZERO PROTOTYPES Summits have become a forum where automotive manufacturers and suppliers can demonstrate tangible success in closing the gap between CAE simulation and physical testing on the road to zero prototype sign-off.”
Novi, MI, USA, October 11th, 2022 – VI-grade, the simulation and driving simulator company that accelerates product innovation by bridging the gap between simulation and physical testing, today announced their participation in the 2022 Automotive Testing Conference and Exhibition (ATE), in Novi Michigan, taking place October 25-27, 2022. VI-grade will be showcasing AutoHawk, its new Hardware-in-the-Loop (HiL) solution for automotive applications. Available for the first time in North America, visitors can experience AutoHawk live and in action at VI-grade’s booth, #2036. Additionally, Dean Streck, Director North America at VI-grade, will introduce AutoHawk in a dedicated, technical presentation on October 26th at 1:30pm.
With AutoHawk VI-grade becomes a significant contender in the sizeable, high-growth market of HiL testing, strategically leveraging its core strengths and experience in simulation and driving simulators. Employing the most advanced open Real Time Operating System (RTOS) available in the marketplace today, AutoHawk is powered by Concurrent Real-Time’s industry leading HiL technology. AutoHawk uniquely addresses the industry’s demand for a flexible solution comprising hardware, software, and integration services that can cost-effectively validate all variety of electronic control units (ECUs).
“I am pleased to introduce our new, flexible HiL Platform AutoHawk to the North American market at Automotive Testing Expo Novi”, said Dean Streck, Director North America at VI-grade. “The HiL market is critical for driving innovation and allowing us to leverage our core competencies and experience in driving simulation and simulators. Our vision is to build an integrated, virtual test approach with Hardware-in the Loop being an essential component of the development process. This will enable our customers to decrease the number of physical prototypes throughout the entire development cycle and to ultimately achieve virtual sign-off.”
Darmstadt, Germany, October 5th, 2022 – VI-grade, the simulation and driving simulator company that accelerates product innovation by bridging the gap between simulation and physical testing, today announced the deployment of its latest generation COMPACT Simulator featuring a carbon-fiber frame at renowned Italian braking systems manufacturer, Brembo. The simulator is fully equipped with dedicated VI-grade software as well as with active shaker components consisting of active seat, active belt and active brake for an enhanced, more realistic driver feeling. The new COMPACT Simulator has been installed at the company’s headquarters in Stezzano (Bergamo), Italy, and has already been fully commissioned by the R&D Department.
Employing the COMPACT Simulator allows Brembo to greatly expand its research capabilities and significantly advance its braking system development. Moreover, this state-of-the-art driving simulator is the ideal tool for Brembo to enhance the collaboration with their customers, especially with major automotive manufacturers who rely on the same (or similar) VI-grade technologies.
“We are pleased to announce the installation and commissioning of our new COMPACT Simulator at Brembo”, said Alessio Lombardi, EMEA Sales Director at VI-grade. “Brembo’s confidence in our COMPACT Simulator, and especially in the active brake technology built into it, is proof of the immediate technical and financial benefits VI-grade’s COMPACT simulator brings to the development process.”
Canton, MI, US, September 28th, 2022 – VI-grade, the simulation and driving simulator company that accelerates product innovation by bridging the gap between simulation and physical testing, today announced two additional expert contributors for its first-ever North American ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit (ZPS) to be held on October 12th at Multimatic’s SimCenter in Novi, Michigan. Automotive race and passenger car test driver, Andy Priaulx, and renowned transportation analyst and Forbes journalist, Sam Abuelsamid, will add to the summit's high-profile program, which includes presentations from leading automotive companies such as Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Automobili Lamborghini, Bridgestone, HARMAN International, Hitachi Astemo, McMaster University and Stackpole Engineering Services.
Already at 85% of registration capacity, this positive response to the ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit underscores the strong interest the North American community has in attending an event where automotive manufacturers and suppliers demonstrate their achievements in closing the gap between CAE simulation and physical testing to achieve zero prototypes sign-off.
In his role as a professional race and test driver, Andy Priaulx will add another important dimension to the event. The three-time FIA World Touring Car Champion has been involved with Multimatic Motorsports since 2016 as an advisor and full-time test driver in numerous development projects. He will provide exclusive insights about his experience with the DiM250 driving simulator installed at Multimatic’s SimCenter.
“I look forward to attending and contributing to the first-ever North American ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit”, said Andy Priaulx. “I especially look forward to being able to present to attendees the benefits I’ve directly experienced using the DiM250 DYNAMIC Driving Simulator to actually impact the development process. I’ll also be holding a live racing demo session where I’ll push Multimatic’s DiM to its limits to prove the value a driving simulator brings in accelerating and refining the vehicle development process”, he added.
The Summit will be moderated by Automotive Industry Analyst and Forbes journalist, Sam Abuelsamid. After more than two decades as a product development engineer in the automotive industry developing advanced electronic control systems and embedded software, Sam is a principal analyst at Guidehouse, leading the Mobility Ecosystem Research Service with a focus on transportation electrification, automated driving and mobility services. Sam regularly contributes to a number of publications including Autonomous Vehicle Engineering, Forbes, and co-hosts the Wheel Bearings podcast.
“I’m thrilled to moderate VI-grade’s first ever North American ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit with such a broad array of OEMs and suppliers presenting” he said. “As the industry shifts electrification, automation and new vehicle architectures, simulation is more important than ever. I look forward to learning how these global automotive leaders are pushing the development envelope with VI-grade’s products towards achieving zero prototypes, as well as experiencing the full suite of VI-grade’s simulators at Multimatic.”
In addition to the high-level technical presentations from industry-leading companies, the North American ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit will also feature a series of application specific driving simulator sessions. The full range of VI-grade’s Driving Simulators, specifically targeted at discipline-oriented applications (Ride & Handling, NVH, ADAS & AV, HMI and Motorsports), will be available for attendees to experience: DESKTOP and DESKTOP NVH Simulator, COMPACT and COMPACT NVH Simulator, STATIC Simulator, DiM250 DYNAMIC Simulator. AutoHawk, VI-grade’s HiL solution powered by Concurrent Real-Time for automotive applications, also will be on display for the first time ever in North America.
VI-grade gratefully acknowledges the support of its North American ZPS sponsors: Rebel Dynamics, SAGInoMIYA (Platinum); 3DMapping Solutions, Barco, Concurrent Real-Time, Hexagon, Smarteye and Stackpole Engineering Services (Golden).
Registration for the North American ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit is still open and free-of-charge at https://conference.vi-grade.com/. Final details about the event will be added to the VI-grade website as they become available.
Darmstadt, Germany / North Canton, OH, US, September 7th, 2022 – VI-grade, the simulation and driving simulator company that accelerates product innovation by bridging the gap between simulation and physical testing, and Stackpole Engineering Services, a leading full-service provider of engineering solutions to tire and vehicle OEM’s and suppliers, today announced their strategic partnership, that will significantly advance the companies’ research and development efforts in the areas of tire testing, tire modeling and simulation application.
Stackpole Engineering Services utilizes a VI-grade DESKTOP Simulator at their Corporate office in North Canton, Ohio to support the evaluation and certification of tire models and vehicle physics in various professional driving simulator applications. Through this strategic partnership, VI-grade and Stackpole Engineering Services now directly collaborate on the development and implementation of tire and vehicle models across VI-grade’s driving simulators, ensuring the best possible support for the joint customer base of vehicle and tire manufacturers.
Highlights of the partnership between Stackpole Engineering Services and VI-grade include the following major advances:
Close cooperation in the evaluation and certification of third-party software as well as vehicle and tire models to ensure native and seamless application in VI-grade driving simulators
Equipping all VI-grade SimCenters worldwide with SES-AgileTire™ software suite for tire model analysis and providing access to sample library of commercial tire models.
“It is an honor for Stackpole Engineering Services, Inc. to partner with the team at VI-grade on the creation, implementation and validation of tire models and vehicle physics in the VI-grade simulator environment, and to provide industry-leading support for our joint customers”, commented Michael Stackpole, President and Founder, Stackpole Engineering Services. “Stackpole Engineering Services is proud to include the VI-grade simulator as part of our expanded engineering service offerings, and are focused on utilizing this world-class toolset to evaluate and certify commercial and custom tire & vehicle models, and to support our customer’s unique virtual environment programs.”
“I am pleased to announce the collaboration of VI-grade and Stackpole Engineering Services”, said Tony Spagnuolo, Vice President Business Development at VI-grade. “We look forward to collaborating even more closely with our valued partner Stackpole Engineering Services in the development and implementation of tire models on our driving simulators to provide the best possible simulation solutions to our joint customer base of vehicle and tire OEMs.”
Stackpole Engineering Services will be present at the 41st Annual Tire Society Conference (September 12-13, 2022 in Akron, OH) with a booth and their VI-grade DESKTOP simulator. In addition, Kelly Holshue, Delivery and Installation Manager - North America at VI-grade will give a dedicated presentation on the benefits of virtual tire evaluation using a Driver-in-the-Loop Simulator (DiL).
Canton, MI, US / Tokyo, Japan, August 31st, 2022 – VI-grade, the simulation and driving simulator company that accelerates product innovation by bridging the gap between simulation and physical testing, today announced final agendas of its first-ever regional ZERO PROTOTYPES Summits (ZPS) to be held on September 22nd in Tokyo, Japan and on October 12th at Multimatic’s SimCenter in Novi (suburban Detroit), Michigan.
As with VI-grade’s flagship event held in Udine, Italy, in May 2022, both regional ZERO PROTOTYPES Summits will showcase a combination of application-specific driving simulator sessions and high-level technical presentations from industry-leading companies actively using VI-grade’s simulation, driving simulator and hardware-in-the-loop technology in their product development processes.
The main focus for the local Summits is demonstrating how VI-grade tools drive immediate technical and financial returns in the customers’ product development process across ADAS, Vehicle Dynamics, NVH and HMI areas of focus, including multi-attribute simulations. Attendees will benefit from hearing actual customer testimonials describing how adopting VI-grade technologies moved them from “skeptic to speaker” as they bridge the gap between simulation and physical testing in the ultimate quest to achieve zero prototypes sign-off.
Speakers at the Japanese ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit include representatives from Honda Japan, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Mazda, Hitachi Astemo, Applus+ IDIADA, Solize, Meiji University, SAGInoMIYA, Rebel Dynamics, Hexagon, HBK and Barco. In addition to keynote and technical presentations, all attendees will also have opportunities to experience the VI-grade DESKTOP Simulator, DESKTOP NVH Simulator, COMPACT NVH Simulator as well as the recently launched HiL Platform, AutoHawk, live and in action in dedicated demo sessions.
The North American edition of VI-grade’s ZPS event will feature high-caliber keynote and technical contributions from Multimatic Inc., Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Harman, Lamborghini / Bridgestone, McMaster University, Stackpole Engineering Services, Hitachi Astemo, SAGInoMIYA and Rebel Dynamics. Because the event will be held at Multimatic's state-of-the-art SimCenter, attendees will also have the unique opportunity to experience first-hand the full spectrum of VI-grade driving simulators and directly experience what makes VI-grade technologically superior to the competition.
“We are extremely pleased to bring our renowned ZERO PROTOTYPES Summit to our local VI-grade communities in Japan and in the United States and to host such an impressive slate of speakers at each event”, commented Guido Bairati, Managing Director at VI-grade. “These presentations will provide our valued customers, partners and followers with exclusive insights into how key players in the global automotive industry are currently using simulation and driving simulators to accelerate the development of new vehicles, bringing them ever closer to virtual release.”