we send you our very warmest wishes for this holiday season and thank you for your continued trust in our teams and our technology. We are honored and humbled by your support and loyalty.
This has been an extraordinary year in many respects. While we were definitely challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, we also had the opportunity to redouble our efforts to introduce exciting new products to help you drive product innovation.
We have never been more excited about the future and are already looking forward to travelling new roads together. For this reason, we have created 12 different calendar-style desktop backgroundsto accompany you throughout the entire 2021 year.
On behalf of the entire VI-grade team, we wish you happy holidays with your families and a good start into the new year!
Darmstadt, December 16th, 2020 – VI-grade, a leading provider of best-in-class software products and services for advanced applications in the field of system level simulation, announced today the operation of the DYNAMIC Driving Simulator in the Mercedes-AMG development process.
Following several sessions at VI-grade’s advanced SimCenter in Udine, Italy, and numerous test drives on the Simulator in April 2018, the major German OEM decided to adopt the DYNAMIC Driving Simulator technology from VI-grade primarily for vehicle dynamics applications. Since end of 2018, the DiM250 Driving Simulator is in full operation and already completely integrated in the development process and toolchain of the German car manufacturer. For instance, the DYNAMIC Driving Simulator was also applied in the development of the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series production car, with which test driver Maro Engel only recently broke the track record on the Nordschleife as fastest upper-class vehicle.
“The DiM250 Driving Simulator is the perfect tool for us. We can get our test drivers in there, who will be driving the real cars later or we can drive ourselves or have our management drive. We establish a target for where we want to be with the final product and, thanks to the Driving Simulator, we can have a whole set of teams working together.” explained Michael Bidlingmaier, Key Expert – Digital Vehicle Dynamics Integration, Mercedes-AMG.
The DiM250 Driving Simulator enables customers to improve collaboration between all engineering teams involved in the development process, including target definition, breakdown of component/system demands, reintegration of CFD/FEM/CAD/MBS results, creation of loads for strength and durability analysis, tire development, HiL-Control system development and network simulation.
“We are very delighted that a renowned car manufacturer like Mercedes-AMG utilizes our driving simulation technology to virtually optimize the dynamic behavior of their vehicles”, said Helmut Schmitz, Sales Director DACH & Benelux at VI-grade. “We are truly impressed by how Mercedes-AMG integrated our DYNAMIC Driving Simulator into the development processes and toolchain for both series vehicles and Hypercars in such a short time. This further proves the importance of collaboration on the Driving Simulator between the teams involved in the development process, but also between OEMs and suppliers in order to achieve the best possible results and quality in less time.”
Darmstadt (Germany), December 9th, 2020 – VI-grade is pleased to announce that Chinese automobile parts company FAWER Y-TEC Automotive Chassis System Co. Ltd. (Abbr. FYCS) has chosen VI-grade’s DESKTOP Simulator for its engineering activities. The simulator will be installed at the Company’s Headquarters in Changchun, China and will be used to perform preliminary subjective evaluation for steering and handling.
FYCS is a leading global supplier of chassis parts and mainly produces front and rear subframes, control arms, longitudinal arms, tie rods and other assembly products aimed to provide international customers with one-stop solutions. Until now, most of the component tests had to be performed on a physical car, which was not only expensive, but also time-consuming. By installing the VI-grade DESKTOP Simulator, FYCS is now able to conduct preliminary subjective evaluation of the chassis components at an early stage of the design phase.
The DESKTOP Simulator is the entry-level solution in the Driving Simulators product line provided by VI-grade. It offers the possibility to test drive the vehicle directly from your desk, validating its basic behavior. Featuring steering wheel and pedals, it is the perfect validation solution for those engineers who want to start using a Driving Simulator to boost simulation activities and to test models in real-time whilst getting a subjective feeling.
"The ability of carrying out driving tests in early stages of chassis system design enables to optimize vehicle driving performance in order to better meet customer expectations and OEM’s design requirements, tightening the connection between Chassis System supplier and OEMs”, said Yu Ruifeng,R&D Director at FYCS. “VI-grade’s DESKTOP Simulator will be a powerful tool for System suppliers and OEMs to actualize Top-Down design, reducing vehicle development cycles and costs.”
“We are very excited to report the installation of our VI-grade DESKTOP Simulator at FYCS headquarters in Changchun” said Richard Liu, China Country Manager at VI-grade. “The DESKTOP Simulator is the ideal tool for FYCS to perform preliminary subjective evaluation for steering and handling, thus optimizing their development cycles. We are looking forward to further expanding our cooperation with FYCS and to implementing additional chassis applications of our DESKTOP Simulator in the future.”
Driving simulator installed at Daimler AG in Sindelfingen, Germany. The mechanical parts of the system except the Hexapod have been designed and installed by Imtec Engineering (image courtesy of Daimler AG)
Berlin, November 24th, 2020 – VI-grade Group (VI-grade), an industry leader in virtual prototyping software and driver-in-the-loop hardware simulators, has confirmed today that it has signed an agreement to acquire 100% of the ownership of IMTEC Engineering.
Established in 2003 outside of Berlin, IMTEC has grown steadily and profitably by providing innovative automation technology and simulators to key transportation OEMs and industrial concerns to reduce time-to-market for new products, while lowering risk and cost. With this new addition, VI-grade augments its R&D team, enhances its manufacturing and production capabilities, and expands its global distribution and maintenance operation.
“This is a strategic move for IMTEC and we are very excited to be joining VI-grade,” says Thomas Schulz, Managing Director at IMTEC. “There are many advantages to becoming part of this global group. The leadership team at VI-grade has a strong interest in developing and investing in IMTEC’s capabilities, products, and highly talented workforce. As a combined company, we are confident that we can lead the global market for innovative simulator products and solutions.”
“IMTEC has been a key partner and supplier to VI-grade for many years and this move represents an excellent opportunity for us to combine forces to create a powerhouse in the vehicle simulator marketplace” says Bob Ryan, President at VI-grade. “By blending the software pedigree and expertise of VI-grade with the mechatronic hardware expertise of IMTEC and the financial strength of VI-grade’s parent company, Spectris plc, VI-grade is positioning itself to more rapidly scale its global simulator business.”
IMTEC has approximately 25 permanent, full-time employees and a central focus on vehicle driving simulators and machine automation systems. IMTEC’s mechatronic team has experience in mechanical design, development, prototyping, fabrication, assembly, and global installation. For further information about IMTEC please visit this link.
Darmstadt (Germany), November 18, 2020 – VI-grade today announced that Linglong Group, the parent company of leading Chinese tire manufacturer Shandong Linglong Tire Co., Ltd. is currently creating a virtual proving ground for its tire test facility located in the city of Zhaoyuan, Shandong, China. Thanks to VI-GraphSim and VI-Road, it will be possible to use these road data files and graphic scenarios both for offline and online simulations. Additionally, the Linglong virtual proving ground data files will be made available for purchase and rental on the VI-grade website.
“Our Group has and opened to public in 2016 a 150 hectares testing site called Sino-Asia Tire Proving Ground, one of the most comprehensive testing facilities in Asia and China’s first large-scale outdoor tire proving ground” said Nie Qiuhai, Deputy General Manager, Shandong Sino-Asia Tire Proving Ground Ltd. “With the adoption of the VI-GraphSim and VI-Road software provided by VI-grade, we plan to further enhance our virtual testing capabilities, strengthening our virtual development and validation activities by offering virtual scenarios for different applications.”
By taking full advantage of the synergies between physical and virtual testing, LingLong Group has now the possibility to cooperate with more OEMs for developing and improving new vehicle models. Additionally, Sino-Asia Tire Proving Ground will have the ability of providing its customers with the virtual version of their proving ground, which will be also made available on the VI-grade website.
“We are very pleased that Linglong chose to cooperate with VI-grade in order to provide digital tracks and virtual graphic scenario” said Guido Bairati, VP Sales & Marketing, VI-grade. “This will help our customers take vehicle design decisions in a faster and more accurate manner, helping reduce dependence on physical prototypes through the opportunity of safely accessing a virtual version of their proving ground at a lower cost.”
VI-Roadenables to prepare road data files for vehicle simulations and supports a series of advanced capabilities, such as the possibility of modeling kerbs and of specifying variable friction coefficients and track disturbances. The user interface grant access to specific tools for creating, manipulating and smoothing driver lines; thanks to an embedded solver, VI-Road enables to estimate the static limit speed profile for a given vehicle on a specified trajectory.
VI-GraphSimprovides high-resolution and low-latency graphic environments for both static and dynamic Driving Simulators. VI-GraphSim, in conjunction with the usage of wide-screens, provides drivers with an immersive environment for a unique driving simulation experience: through the usage of different cameras it is possible to satisfy the needs of drivers and track engineers at the same time. VI-GraphSim includes a large variety of vehicle models from many different race series and from automotive OEMs and a large number of racing tracks.
Darmstadt, November 11th, 2020 – VI-grade introduces VI-WorldSim, a high-resolution graphic environment for accelerated vehicle development dedicated to the high-end automotive market.
The new VI-WorldSim software features a user-friendly and fully integrated graphic environment on VI-grade Driving Simulators with realistic traffic and sensor behavior. The software not only brings traditional track modeling to a higher level of realism based on the Unreal high-performance graphic engine but also adds the features needed to test on CAV sites, urban environments, and public roads for ADAS and Autonomous Vehicle Testing. VI-WorldSim features include traffic, pedestrians, lighting, weather, and sensors to enable users to create and test scenarios for vehicle development programs through an intuitive and easy-to-use desktop editor. Cars, pedestrians, and animals are AI-driven actors who follow normal routes or can be controlled through the definition of specific behaviors.
“It became clear to us that the ADAS market was demanding Driver Simulators with greater workspaces, more sustained motion cues, and a much more immersive and fully integrated, real-time visual environment for urban driving. Users wanted a visual environment that unites the high frame-rate rendering capabilities of our VI-GraphSim software with very modern and realistic traffic and sensor simulation as well as urban roadway content displayed in a high-quality rendering engine,” said Guido Bairati, VP of Sales and Marketing, VI-grade. “We then turned toward software providers for autonomous vehicles and discovered RightHook, a Silicon Valley company that shares our values and has deep expertise in multi-agent traffic simulation, sensor simulation, and deep capabilities in the Unreal gaming engine. RightHook, now part of VI-grade, spent the last eighteen months together with our development team building what we believe is the best integrated visual environment for driving simulators ever produced. We couldn’t be happier with the incredible accomplishments of this team and are looking forward to share this exciting new product with our customer base.”
VI-WorldSim provides users with a single engine for all different types of environments, simulations and disciplines: chassis development, driver training, CAV test site, public road testing of ADAS/AV, and EuroNCAP testing. Users can benefit from a single high-quality graphic engine with an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Powerful traffic and agents (including different vehicles, pedestrians, animals), preconfigured scenarios and a comprehensive library of popular sensors make VI-WorldSim the perfect tool to enable immersive subjective feel and feedback. The software, which today supports all VI-grade’s Driving Simulators, comes in several configurations and will soon be available also for offline usage.
Darmstadt / Gothenburg, October 30th, 2020 - VI-grade, a leading provider of best-in-class software products and services for advanced applications in the field of system level simulation and Smart Eye, a leading manufacturer of high-end eye tracking technology, are joining forces to introduce eye tracking into the high-end automotive simulator market.
“We are proud to announce this partnership with a leader in advanced system-level simulation. Our partnership with VI-grade will allow enhanced driver behavior research for automotive development by including eye-tracking. The partnership enables global OEMs to understand driver behavior on a deeper level than before. We believe that our high standards in designing eye-tracking systems go hand in hand with VI-grade’s uncompromising designs, which include both static and dynamic driving simulation technology. We look forward to benefitting from their global presence in the system level simulations market,” says Solmaz Shahmehr,VP and Head of Research Instruments, Smart Eye.
“This strategic partnership is an important step in the direction of increased understanding of driver behavior in automotive research and development”, says Martin Krantz, CEO, Smart Eye.
“It is my pleasure to announce the collaboration of VI-grade with Smart Eye in providing professional eye-tracking solutions to the automotive community. We are looking forward to leveraging an extended simulation solution featuring our STATIC and DYNAMIC (DiM) Driving Simulator technologies to our mutual customers and to jointly identifying new opportunities in the worldwide market” says Guido Bairati, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, VI-grade.
Smart Eye’s eye tracking devices represent an important component of VI-BioTelemetry, an innovative set of tools designed and created by VI-grade capable of recording and evaluating human reactions and body responses to a specific driving scenario. Together with a series of cameras supplied by Smart Eye and located on the dashboard in order to record eye movement, VI-BioTelemetry includes a heart rate measuring device and gloves equipped with sensors that measure skin response. The solution combines dedicated hardware and software equipment for data collection and processing with a full integration within all VI-grade Driving Simulators.
Darmstadt (Germany), Sep 30th, 2020 – VI-grade today announced the launch of VI-Certified, an elevated partner program aimed at validating 3rd party software operation on VI-grade simulators.
VI-grade develops and optimizes its Driving Simulators with a complete software suite for vehicle modeling, graphics, sound & vibration, and motion cueing, thus enabling an off-the-shelf, turn-key solution. In addition, VI-grade’s open architecture and Application Programming Interface (API) make it easy to integrate 3rd party software and hardware components, as often desired by customers. Today, with the establishment of the VI-Certified program, we are taking a step forward with our partners to ensure that the best of these third-party applications work natively on VI-grade simulators without issue, thus saving customer time and money during deployment.
Being a VI-Certified product means that a testing schema, approved and reviewed by VI-grade, has been completed and regularly validated on all VI-grade simulators. Participating partners also commit to provide timely software updates within each new version as well as dedicated customer support.
“We decided to establish the VI-Certified program following the feedback received from our clients. They requested the integration of partner technology to be consistently tested on our simulators” said Tony Spagnuolo, VP of Business Development, VI-grade. “Customers need an efficient process to use partner software in our Driving Simulators, and do not want to be burdened with integration testing. Based on this feedback, we created VI-Certified, that enables customers to use their established products, knowing that these products have been fully tested by partners and assured by VI-grade. This reduces cost and time of deployment for our Driving Simulators, which continue to grow in popularity in the worldwide automotive industry.”
“We are very pleased VI-grade has certified the integration of rFpro into its driving simulators,” said Matt Daley, rFpro Managing Director. “VI-grade has thoroughly tested the integration of rFpro into its simulation solutions and this helps to give customers confidence of the quality and robustness of the offering. Their Open Strategy is fantastic and extends the options available to our customers.”
“With MF-Tyre/MF-Swift being the tire model of choice for a multitude of global OEMs, a robust and user-friendly interface with all tools used throughout the development process is a key element or our product strategy. The VI-Certified program is an excellent confirmation of the seamless integration of MF-Tyre/MF-Swift in the VI-grade product suite. Moreover, it emphasizes the professional and quality driven cooperation between our companies” said Willem Versteden, Product Manager Simcenter Tire, Siemens Digital Industries Software.
“For many years we have successfully collaborated with VI-grade to extend vehicle dynamics testing on driving simulators to ADAS testing. Thanks to our product SCANeR interfaced with VI-grade products, customers can benefit from ever richer and complex environments, scenarios and sensor models” said Thomas Nguyen That, Automotive Domain Director, AVSimulation. “This allows them to experience and validate their ADAS systems even more efficiently.”
“Our CarMaker simulation software already enables to create virtual prototypes of vehicles which can be then used with all VI-grade Driving Simulators, thus enabling a seamless development process” said Steffen Schmidt, Managing Director IPG Automotive GmbH. “Component models, control systems and real ECUs can also be integrated into the vehicle. As part of our partnership with VI-grade, we are jointly working towards solutions that extend the current functions of CarMaker on the Driving Simulator.”
“For cosin, the leading provider of high-fidelity tire simulation software, quality assurance of interface components has always been key to a smooth user experience” said Gerald Hofmann, Managing Director, cosin scientific software AG. “Putting together the pieces of complex co-simulation scenarios, including hardware components and hard real-time requirements, is a challenging task. The VI-Certified program creates confidence that the integration of FTire with VI-grade products has been thoroughly tested from early development to software deployment on the customer’s system.”
“The VI-Certified program further increases the trust level for the stability, robustness and reliability of our CDTire model family” said Manfred Baecker, Head of Tire and Vehicle Simulation, Fraunhofer ITWM. “Especially for online simulations with CDTire/Realtime, it documents that the solutions that we offer with VI-DriveSim have become mature, creating a significant added value for the customer. Additionally, it documents the fruitful cooperation between VI-grade and Fraunhofer to further enlarge the application range of Driving Simulators in the industry.”
“Being included within the VI-Certified program is a further evidence of the robustness, reliability and continuously improving level of integration of the MegaRide solutions within both the optimization offline routines and the hard real-time online environments of the VI-grade simulation platform” said Aleksandr Sakhnevych, CTO, MegaRide. “VI-grade is consolidating its role of global integrator and our full compliance to their platform standards, as a turn-key solution, opens fascinating R&D and business scenarios.”
Udine (Italy), Sept 25th, 2020 – VI-grade is pleased to announce the Virtual Grand Opening of its expanded SimCenter in Udine, an advanced vehicle development and driving simulation center located at the Company’s Italian Headquarters. Originally inaugurated in 2015, SimCenter Udine now features DiM400, the first model of VI-grade’s brand-new family of scalable, cable-driven driving simulators, which will be officially revealed during the occasion.
The event will go live on Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 at 4pm CEST, providing customers, partners and media the opportunity to discover the distinctive features of this brand new family of cable-driven simulators, gaining unique understanding of its capabilities through the words of its creator Diego Minen, CTO of VI-grade and of professional drivers and early adopters of this technology. During the event, VI-grade will also roll out another major product line extension which will further complete the company’s portfolio both for offline and online solutions.
“Our DiM150 and DiM250 simulators have become industry standards and have fundamentally improved the vehicle development process. But our customers are now asking for simulators with larger range of motion, higher performance, and broader application areas such as ADAS/AV and NVH. To accommodate these requests, we’ve now complemented our actuator-driven simulator products with a range of larger, cable-driven simulators that set a new high-bar for simulator performance. We’ve retained our signature architecture of a lower stage that translates and rotates in a plane to represent the chassis and tire/roadway dynamics coupled with an upper stage, 6 degree-of-freedom mechanism, that faithfully recreates the higher-frequency vehicle body motion” said Diego Minen, CTO, VI-grade. “This architecture allows to speed up the tuning process, ultimately leading to a better and more immersive driving experience.”
This new line of larger simulators incorporates many technology innovations and breakthroughs:
Scalable architecture producible in any workspace size
Independent lateral, longitudinal and yaw travel
Longer exposure to steady-state accelerations
First active simulator allowing full control of both low and high frequency performance
Much higher yaw and yaw rates for motorsports applications
Delivery of a superb vertical heave
“The extension of our Driving Simulator product line with this new family of cable-driven simulators is in line with the strategy of our Company to provide scalable solutions aimed to carefully adapt to specific customer budget and space requirements”, said Bob Ryan, President, VI-grade. “We are extremely excited about the forthcoming Virtual Grand Opening, which will give us the possibility of sharing our latest advancements and strategies with a growing international community of customers and followers.”
With the latest additions, SimCenter Udine now showcases the following VI-grade products:
Desktop Static Simulator
Compact Static Simulator
Full-scale Static Simulator Targeted to ADAS Development
Millbrook (UK), Sept 16, 2020 –VI-grade is pleased to announce the availability of SimCenter Millbrook, an advanced vehicle development and driving simulation center located in Millbrook, UK. The facility, completely dedicated to NVH applications, is now available for rentals and technology display at the Millbrook Proving Ground located in Millbrook, Bedford, MK45 2JQ, helping greatly reduce the duration and cost of NVH vehicle development and finetuning.
SimCenter Millbrook features a new installation of a STATIC NVH Simulator based on a Bentley Continental GT full vehicle, completely instrumented for detailed and immersive NVH investigation. The STATIC NVH Simulator creates an interactive driving experience of a vehicle’s interior noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), bringing sound and vibration data into the real world, so it can be experienced by engineers and test drivers. Leveraging NVH Simulator and Software technology and expertise formerly from Brüel & Kjær and now part of the VI-grade family, the STATIC NVH simulator provides great authenticity, displaying the track in front of the vehicle that is equipped with headphones, speakers and shakers.
Also onsite is an exemplar of VI-grade’s DESKTOP NVH Simulator, equipped with a steering wheel and pedals so that drivers can interact with the vehicle and experience its sound in real-time. Highly accurate vehicle sound is played through headphones or speakers, allowing drivers to experience the sound of a vehicle throughout all of the dynamic aspects of driving, like changing gears and accelerating, or changing from smooth to coarse to rough road surfaces. This immersive context for sound evaluations helps engineers and non-experts select appropriate sounds and compare alternative designs.
Software-in-the-loop and hardware-in-the-loop capabilities enable integration with other vehicle systems, such as vehicle performance models and active sound design solutions.
“We are excited about the launch of our new SimCenter in Millbrook specifically dedicated to NVH applications”, said Guido Bairati, VP Sales & Marketing, VI-grade. “Our NVH Simulators increase confidence in the decision-making process, whether evaluating concepts or physical prototype updates. They can also easily incorporate CAE information, allowing subjective evaluations of virtual component designs when inserted in the real vehicle’s NVH data.”
“As early adopters and key developers of the NVH Simulator, Hottinger Brüel & Kjær (HBK) Engineering Services have been able to apply this technology in many development projects, from reducing OEM development time and costs, to aiding engineers in the decision making process and improving the driving experience of their customers” added Gabriella Cerrato, Director of Engineering Services, HBK. “As the automotive industry moves into a new era, with electrification bringing new NVH challenges, the NVH simulator is more critical than ever before”.
Mark Allman-Ward, NVH Solutions Technical Expert at VI-grade, is available to welcome at SimCenter Millbrook all customers who wish to directly experience the advantages of this technology.
Novi (Michigan), Jun 17, 2020 – Multimatic and VI-grade are pleased to announce the Virtual Grand Opening of SimCenter Detroit, an advanced vehicle development and driving simulation center in the greater Detroit area. The virtual world of driver-in-the-loop simulation helps greatly reduce the duration and cost of vehicle development.
The event will go live on Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 at 9am EDT, providing media, customers and partners the opportunity to take an early, virtual tour of this world-class facility, gain unique understanding of its capabilities, and participate in a Q&A session hosted by staff from both VI-grade and Multimatic.
SimCenter Detroit features the highly acclaimed DiM250 DYNAMIC Driving Simulator characterized by a novel, 9-degrees-of-freedom motion platform. Its ability to accurately reproduce both high frequency and large motion in longitudinal, lateral and yaw directions makes VI-grade’s DiM250 a unique engineering tool, suitable for evaluating vehicle ride and handling dynamics in the virtual world as never before.
Also onsite is VI-grade’s COMPACT Simulator, specifically utilized for verifying model integrity before being implemented on the DiM250.
SimCenter Detroit is optimized to meet customer demand for rapid, cost-effective development of next-generation vehicles that incorporate features such as driver assistance and autonomous operation. Multimatic, a global leader in vehicle dynamics engineering, will operate the facility as an extension of its current driving simulators in Canada and England.
“Multimatic’s operating philosophy, ‘Strength Through Technology,’ is what drives us towards innovation and product excellence every day. SimCenter Detroit is the next evolutionary step in the development of our company and its products. The technology that VI-grade has been able to develop with their Driver-in-Motion system is extraordinary and Multimatic couldn’t be more excited to bring DiM250 to the United States. Multimatic is looking forward to the continued technical partnership with VI-grade as we leverage their technology for future innovation in a highly competitive market” said Michael Guttilla, Vice President of Engineering, Multimatic.
“The adoption of our driving simulation technology at Multimatic is a direct consequence of our long-lasting partnership and will for sure bring mutual advantages to our companies”, said Bob Ryan, President, VI-grade. “We are extremely excited about having the chance of giving North American automotive and motorsport customers the possibility of directly experiencing the advantages of this technology through the establishment of this new SimCenter.”
To learn more about SimCenter Detroit, follow this link.
About Multimatic Inc.
Multimatic is a privately held, global enterprise supplying engineered components, systems and services to the automotive industry. Multimatic’s core competencies include the engineering and manufacturing of complex mechanisms, body hardware, suspension systems and body structures, as well as the design and development of lightweight composite automotive systems. In addition, Multimatic delivers niche vehicle design, development and production for road and race applications. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Multimatic has manufacturing divisions and engineering facilities in North America, Europe and Asia, and alliance relationships with partners around the world. Multimatic is comprised of five operating groups: Multimatic Mechanisms, Multimatic Structures & Suspension, Multimatic Engineering, Multimatic Niche Vehicles, and Multimatic Special Vehicle Operations.
Darmstadt (Germany), June 10th, 2020 – VI-grade today announced that the Automotive Engineering and Design center of University of Brescia, Italy adopted the COMPACT Simulator designed by VI-grade. The new simulator, fully equipped with VI-grade dedicated software as well as with shaker active components for an enhanced driver feeling, has been installed at the university premises in Brescia, Italy.
The COMPACT Simulator is the entry-level solution in the range of driving simulators provided by VI-grade. It features a driver’s seat, a fully adjustable steering wheel, dashboard, pedals, gear stick and screens and it can be placed directly in an engineering office. It is the perfect solution for those companies that want to start using a Driving Simulator to boost simulation activities and to test models in real-time, whilst getting a subjective feeling on the results.
“We have completed the installation of the COMPACT Simulator from VI-grade, in the frame of our industrial research activities within the automotive field here at the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering” said Prof. Marco Gadola, head of the Automotive Group at the University of Brescia. “We are very proud to be the very first Italian University to feature such an advanced R&D tool and to offer specific education focused on professional driving simulation to Automotive Engineering students. The cooperation we established with VI-grade is fostering our research on vehicle dynamics, system integration for innovative powertrains, driver-vehicle interaction, and sustainable mobility in general”.
“We are delighted to report the installation of our COMPACT Simulator at University of Brescia”, said Alessio Lombardi, Sales Director, South Europe and UK, VI-grade. “We are happy of having the chance to leverage our professional driving simulator solutions at this important Automotive Engineering and Design Center in Brescia, which is situated right between Milan and Verona in northern Italy and is the second automotive district in the country in terms of industrial output, also known for the world-famous Mille Miglia event dedicated to vintage cars. We are looking forward to witnessing and facilitating all applications of our COMPACT Simulator as important tool for research and development activities for the industry and as precious device for educational purposes.”
About VI-grade’s COMPACT Simulator
The COMPACT Simulator from VI-gradeis the ideal tool for automotive OEMs that wish to use a desktop technology to prepare models to be used for a more advanced simulator (both STATIC and DYNAMIC) and that need to quickly test specific components. The COMPACT Simulator is also an ideal solution for Tier 1 suppliers who need to make sure that their components will work well when included into a more complex vehicle model. This kind of simulator can also be used by universities and research centers, for example to develop and test dedicated control algorithms, as well to expose their students to driving simulator technologies. The COMPACT Simulator is equipped with the exact same software installed on STATIC and DiM simulators from VI-grade: this makes it very easy to upgrade from a COMPACT Simulator to a more advanced simulator, leveraging previous investments and experiences. Accessory technologies like VI-BioTelemetry, VI-ActiveSeat and VI-ActiveBelts are also fully compatible with the COMPACT Simulator from VI-grade.
Darmstadt (Germany), May 19th, 2020 – VI-grade, the leading provider of best-in-class products and services to bridge the gap between real world testing and technical simulation, today announced the official review of its first Virtual International Conference.
With a total number of over 1300 registered participants from 42 countries and over 400 different companies and an average of 600 participants connected at the same time, VI-grade reaches its personal record of number of attendees at this year’s Virtual International Conference. Never before have so many simulation experts, managers and engineers from all over the world gathered virtually to discuss the latest trends in driving simulation and to exchange their experience with other partners and users of the VI-grade technology. The virtual live event took place on May 13th from 13:00 to 18:00 CEST, with the exhibition area open for 24 hours. In addition, the event including recorded presentations, webinars and interactive booths will be accessible for everyone until June 12th at https://vi-grade.vfairs.com.
Thus, Volvo Cars reported that, year after year, they are getting closer to virtual sign-off that will allow to significantly decrease physical prototypes while facing and solving engineering challenges earlier in the design cycle. Ford Motor Company on the other hand, is on the forefront in the usage of NVH Simulators to predict and optimize sound and vibrations on its vehicles.
But also, Applus+ IDIADA is in no way inferior and completely understood that simulation and driving simulators are the only way towards a successful implementation of Connected Vehicles.
Just as important as innovation is collaboration, as the joint presentation of Maserati and MegaRide proved, who are currently working together to better integrate chassis components and tires. The need for collaboration does not go unnoticed by The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company either, as they are currently implementing a Driving Simulator strategy to better serve the automotive OEMs and to follow their path towards virtual sign-off. Finally, the virtual conference was concluded by the joint presentation of Automobili Pininfarina and Danisi Engineering that developed a beautiful and innovative car, sharing their respective strengths and skills.
Furthermore, Robert Ryan, President at VI-grade, also revealed a novel innovative addition to the VI-grade product family. The DiM400 is part of a new category of cable driven simulators that allow going beyond the limitations of longitudinal actuators used on DiM150 and DiM250 and boast the largest performance envelope in the industry. The first model of DiM400 has been built and will soon be installed at the VI-grade SimCenter in Udine, Italy. Another DiM400 has already been sold to the first customer and is expected to be installed in the third quarter of 2020.
Although this year’s show could only be held virtually and the popular Networking Sessions like the traditional Ice-Breaker-Event could not take place as usual, the 2020 Virtual International Conference was greatly appreciated by the VI-grade community, with an overall NPS value of 44. “It was great and for the first time nearly perfect”, “Very well organized, it was almost like attending in person”, “Perfect organization of a virtual conference with some important inputs for current work”, “Felt like a conference but digital. Impressed to offer this for free …” are just some of the comments left by selected attendees.
Nonetheless the 2020 Virtual International Conference also offered a fully functional virtual exhibition area, where all sponsors and partners had the chance of presenting their solutions to all participants featuring virtual booths of Applus+ IDIADA (Platinum Sponsors), Danisi Engineering, Rebel Dynamics, SAGInoMIYA (Platinum Sponsors), Barco, Concurrent Real-Time, cosin scientific software, IMTEC engineering, MegaRide, MSC Software, Multimatic, SimCoVR (Golden Sponsors), 3D Mapping Solutions, Altair, Heeds, Konrad Technologies, Horiba Mira, Screenline and Smarteye (Silver Sponsors).
Finally, VI-grade was also pleased to announce the confirmed dates of the 2021 International Conference, which will take place on April 12-13-14th, 2021 in Sitges, Spain.
For additional information about the 2020 Virtual International Conference, please visit https://conference.vi-grade.com. Everyone is invited to access free-of-charge the virtual event venue including recorded presentations and webinars, 20 interactive booths and a series of live follow-up webinars which will be hosted every Friday between May 29th and June 12th, 2020.
Darmstadt (Germany), April 23rd, 2020 – VI-grade today announced the 2020 International VI-grade Virtual Conference to be held on May 13th, 2020 at 1:00pm CEST.
Just one year ago, more than 240 engineers, managers and simulation experts from all over the world gathered in the city of Hanau near Frankfurt, Germany, to attend the 11th edition of the VI-grade International Conference and to discuss the latest trends in driving simulation. Despite the exceptional situation caused by COVID-19 pandemic, VI-grade continues bridging the gap and once again gives its international community the opportunity to discover more about the company’s current strategies and directions and to exchange experience with other partners and users of the VI-grade technology in a Virtual Conference.
The free-of-charge event, dedicated to executive managers and experienced engineers from the main automotive and transportation companies, tier1 suppliers, motorsport teams, universities and research centers from all over the world, will be hosted on May 13th, 2020 at 1:00pm CEST | 7:00am EDT | 8:00pm JST and will take advantage of the most sophisticated web conferencing techniques now available on the market.
The web conference will give the VI-grade international community of users, partners and prospective customers the possibility 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, featuring confirmed (keynote and technical) online presentations so far from Applus + IDIADA, Goodyear, Maserati, Pininfarina, Volvo.
Additionally, the event will feature a fully functional virtual exhibition area open during the whole day of May 13th, in which all sponsors and partners will have the chance of presenting 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, Barco, Concurrent Real-Time, Cosin, Heeds, IMTEC Engineering, MegaRide, MSC Software, Multimatic, SimCoVR, 3D Mapping, Altair, Horiba Mira, Konrad Technologies, Screenline, Smart Eye.
“Particularly due to the great success of our previous conferences, we are very pleased to have found a way to produce the 12th edition of our International Conference despite the current emergency situation,” said Guido Bairati, Vice President Global Sales & Marketing, VI-grade. “Therefore, we are especially looking forward to giving our international community the opportunity to share their latest projects and advancements realized using our simulation solutions with an experienced audience.”
Darmstadt (Germany), April 9th, 2020 – VI-grade today announced that it has expanded its product line with all NVH Simulation Software and NVH Driving Simulators from sister company Brüel & Kjær. Both companies belong to the same business platform – HBK "Hottinger, Brüel & Kjaer" – so are in an ideal position for this alliance. The move opens many opportunities to combine technologies from Brüel & Kjaer and VI-grade, in order to deliver unique, high-value solutions to the automotive market.
NVH simulator solutions are vital tools that help vehicle manufacturers to design and deliver exceptional sound and vibration experience for their customers. The NVH Simulator software enables designers to create and evaluate virtual NVH prototypes, saving them millions on every vehicle program and reducing development time.
“The NVH Simulator technology is a perfect fit with the VI-grade technology platform, since the purpose and use of the NVH Simulator parallels that of the other VI-grade technologies and simulators” said Dave Bogema, Product Manager - NVH Refinement, VI-grade. “Incorporating the NVH Simulator capabilities into the VI-grade portfolio will enable our customers to engineer multiple vehicle attributes with an integrated set of simulation tools and simulators. The use and experience of virtual prototypes encompassing NVH, vehicle dynamics, ride and comfort, ADAS, AV and HMI can now be realized in concert, greatly increasing development efficiency across all these attributes.”
“The addition of NVH Simulators into the VI-grade Driving Simulator product family allows us to provide customers with driving simulators for all different applications, ranging from Ride & Handling to NVH without neglecting the needs of people developing ADAS and AV and performing HMI studies” said Guido Bairati, VP of Sales and Marketing, VI-grade. ”Today we can proudly say that VI-grade provides reliable Driving Simulator solutions for the entire frequency range, helping customers bridge the gap between testing and simulation in an even more consistent way for all different disciplines -- all this in an integrated product line!"
NVH simulation enables managers and customers alike to 'drive' competing vehicles and previous models in highly realistic scenarios so engineers can quantify their hypotheses. When working with NVH (Noise, Vibration, and Harshness) in the development of a ground vehicle, it’s all about tuning the components of the vehicle to ensure it will have the desired sound (internally and externally) and vibration. The more accurate and early in the design phase these properties can be evaluated, the more value the tool will have, since it is more expensive to make modifications when the car is about to leave the assembly line.
About the NVH Simulator
NVH Simulator creates an interactive driving experience of a vehicle’s interior noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), bringing your sound and vibration data into the real world, so it can be experienced by real people. Highly accurate vehicle sound is played through headphones or speakers, allowing the driver to experience the sound quality of a vehicle throughout all of the dynamic aspects of driving, like changing gears and accelerating, on a smooth road or even bouncing across a field. This software is commonly paired with a steering wheel and pedals so that drivers can interact with NVH in driving scenarios. This immersive context for sound evaluations helps people understand NVH data, understand the effects of design changes on sound and vibration, select appropriate sounds and compare alternative designs – whether they are engineers or non-experts. NVH Simulation increases confidence in the decision-making process, whether evaluating virtual or physical prototype updates.
Milan, February 25, 2020 – VI-grade today announced the inauguration of the brand-new STATIC driving simulator featuring active technologies to precisely replicate vehicle and tire characteristics at Pirelli’s renowned research and development division in Milan, Italy. The state-of-the art driving simulator provided by VI-grade will be mainly utilized for the tire development for FIA Formula One World Championship, motorsport and road-going tires, reducing development cycles.
Compared to traditional development methods, the STATIC simulator allows a virtual model of any car – either supplied by the manufacturer or produced internally – to be quickly programmed into the system, while joint design and development work can also be carried out on the manufacturer’s own driving simulator. This means that tire development lead times remain perfectly in step with those of the cars that they are destined for, with more new models coming out more frequently these days. Furthermore, the use of the new driving simulator to maximize the virtual development phase means that the number of actual physical prototypes made is reduced, underpinning Pirelli’s sustainability approach.
Featuring a wrap-round 210-degrees panoramic screen, 7.5 meters in diameter, the simulation technology can visually reproduce a wide-range of different driving conditions, roads and circuits. At the heart of the systems is a static car equipped with various active technologies to exactly reproduce the sensations that any driver would feel in a real car. Equipped with a driver’s seat, steering wheel, seat belts, and different shaker systems, the simulator can precisely replicate the movements of the suspension and the engine.
With all virtual development processes already developed by Pirelli and thanks to the cutting-edge driving simulation technology, there is now a 30% reduction in average development time for new tires, thanks to faster assessment of virtual prototypes produced for different car models.
“We are delighted to report the adoption of our STATIC driving simulator at Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli,” said Alessio Lombardi, Sales Director, South Europe and UK, VI-grade. “This confirms the ongoing trend that sees international Tier1 suppliers implement our driving simulator solutions, with the aim of better collaborating with automotive OEMs”.
About the STATIC Simulator
The STATIC Simulator by VI-grade is VI-grade’s professional solution for immersive and realistic driving experience. The STATIC Simulator is based on the same VI-DriveSim software package used on Compact Simulators and DiM Dynamic Simulators from VI-grade. It is also fully compatible with third-party software solutions. This enables customers to leverage previous investments and use the same toolchain both on the static simulator and on a dynamic one. HMI, Ride&Handling, NVH and ADAS are some of the disciplines that can be investigated using a static simulator by VI-grade. Complementary technologies such as VI-BioTelemetry, VI-ActiveSeat and VI-ActiveBelts, are also compatible with the STATIC simulator. Thanks to the real-time hardware infrastructure, the Static Simulator is also suitable for software-in-the-loop and hardware-in-the-loop applications.
Darmstadt (Germany), January 16th, 2020 – VI-grade today announced that American multinational tire manufacturing company Goodyear will enhance its product development capabilities with the purchase of new VI-grade driving simulators including a dynamic model, a first for tire manufacturers. In detail, Goodyear has selected a COMPACT Simulator, that has already been delivered to the Goodyear site in Luxembourg, and a dynamic driving simulator DiM250 (Driver-in-Motion) that will be installed in Akron, Ohio, USA in the coming months. The driving simulators will be used for virtual development and tuning of dynamic performances of tires aided by the ability to simulate a range of driving conditions.
Tire companies are very much affected by the automotive industry trend towards virtualization of the development cycle. They are reacting to this trend by adopting new ways of developing tires, enabling OEMs to test new tires more effectively. Driving Simulators are the perfect solution for companies like Goodyear, because they allow to develop, test and validate tire models early in the development cycle, enabling to identify the best performing tires before building the first prototype. Driving Simulators give the possibility to cut development costs and to keep the pace with the automotive development process, providing tire models at the right time when requested by OEMs. By selecting VI-grade DiM250 and COMPACT Simulators, Goodyear gains the possibility of using the same tools used by most of its customers worldwide.
“This level of simulation sophistication will allow Goodyear to drive breakthroughs in future tire creation leading to an enhanced customer and driver experience,” said Chris Helsel, Goodyear’s senior vice president and chief technology officer. “I’m proud to say that Goodyear is leading the industry with VI-grade and our simulation solutions and we look forward to sharing that benefit with our customers.”
“We are delighted to report on the adoption of our driving simulators at Goodyear” said Guido Bairati, VP Global Sales and Marketing, VI-grade. “Together with the driving simulators, Goodyear also ordered a dedicated training program aimed to coaching drivers and engineers in using our solutions prior to the delivery of the DiM250 simulator, in order to accelerate as much as possible the learning curve, ultimately increasing the ROI. As a part of this training program, a DESKTOP simulator will also be provided to Goodyear.”
To reproduce vehicle movements and accelerations, the DiM solution takes a different path to driving simulation and is based on a patented revolutionary design with nine actuators. The resulting configuration with its 9 degrees of freedom enables to go beyond the basic six-actuator design of a simple hexapod or similar, thus providing a larger workspace while maintaining a high stiffness. 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 to investigate vehicle dynamics as well as ride and comfort on the same driving simulator.