The innovative MTS Vehicle Dynamics Simulator (VDS) allows engineers to resolve vehicle handling issues and study the impact of design changes well in advance of the availability of physical prototypes.
A compact, all-electric 6DOF dynamic motion platform contributes precision haptic and vestibular sensory cueing needed for high-fidelity subjective evaluation.
A highly adaptable rFpro virtual environment contributes visual and audio sensory inputs.
Full-featured MIDAS software provides the tools needed for defining and managing simulations and analyzing results.
Next-Generation MTS Vehicle Dynamics Simulator (VDS)The MTS Vehicle Dynamics Simulator (VDS) is a next-generation driving simulator engineered to provide automotive OEMs, motorsports teams and Tier 1 suppliers a revolutionary tool for accelerating and streamlining development processes. Born of Formula 1 vehicle modeling, development and simulation innovation, the VDS employs a “driver-in-the-loop” approach that allows engineers to gain subjective evaluations of component and full-vehicle performance well in advance of the availability of physical prototypes.
The VDS combines a proven McLaren dynamic motion platform with an rFpro virtual environment to generate high-fidelity, low latency driving simulations. A Concurrent iHawk™ real-time computer platform integrates and synchronizes complex vehicle and terrain models with the motion platform and virtual environment, enabling conceptual vehicle designs to be “driven” through adaptable virtual environments and scenarios. Full-featured MIDAS test management software provides state-of-the-art simulation definition, execution and analysis capabilities. The resulting simulation and driver feedback enables designers to identify and resolve handling issues and study the impact of design changes in early-stage development, avoiding the need for expensive, time-consuming rework during late-stage validation.
The VDS offers unique advantages over conventional driving simulators. Its compact, all-electric motion platform makes it easy to deploy in an existing facility. Additionally, the VDS is designed to integrate seamlessly with advanced mechanical Hardware-in-the-Loop (mHIL) technology, and is adaptable for initial subjective evaluation of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).
Proven Dynamic Motion Platform Design
The VDS employs a highly dynamic motion platform design born of years of McLaren Formula 1 vehicle modeling and simulation and proven through over half a million kilometers of simulated driving. It features a light-weight cockpit and low-friction, 6 degree-of-freedom (6DOF) mechanical scheme that integrates linear electric motors and the latest in high-speed industrial controls to deliver the superior performance needed for high-fidelity subjective evaluation. This proven design offers operational advantages over simulators equipped with conventional hexapods, including the elimination of complex, cross-coupling phenomena endemic to hexapod platforms. The all-electric VDS motion platform is also more compact than simulators that utilize hexapod-on-rail systems; it requires no seismic mass; and its relatively low power and cooling requirements make it possible to locate and maintain the system very close to a typical office environment. The VDS platform is engineered to provide the highest levels of safety to drivers and operators. Its control system is SIL3 and CE compliant, making it readily deployable anywhere in the world.
Low Latency Sensory Cueing
The VDS leverages sophisticated low latency sensory cueing technologies to immerse test drivers in high-fidelity driving scenarios. The McLaren dynamic motion platform and high-speed controls provide haptic and vestibular sensory cueing, while an adaptable rFpro virtual environment contributes both visual and audio sensory inputs. Concurrent iHawk real-time computing is used to integrate and synchronize the motion platform and virtual environment with complex vehicle and terrain models, quickly closing the simulation loop through the human driver in the extremely short time interval required to achieve meaningful subjective evaluation.
MIDAS (McLaren Integrated Data Analysis and Simulation) Software
MIDAS software has been developed and refined over the last two decades by McLaren as a platform for engineers to manage and analyze simulation and test data. It comprises an array of tools to make configuring experiments, interrogating results, comparing data sets and the automation of post processing scripts both consistent and repeatable. MIDAS is included as part of the fully integrated software solution for the VDS, providing the ability to manipulate specific cueing parameters in order to deliver the best environment immersion for a driver-in-the-loop simulation. It features a user interface for editing configuration data that automatically mirrors its underlying structure. It is also version-controlled for full traceability. Additionally, the modular, extensible MIDAS structure facilitates rapid and consistent collaboration across multi-disciplined engineering teams by allowing different departments to share common tools and processes, while maintaining customized content for different roles.
Next-Generation Simulation Capabilities
The VDS is engineered to integrate seamlessly with leading-edge mHIL solutions from MTS. Mechanical Hardware-in-the-Loop is a hybrid simulation technique that enables the real-time integration of difficult-to-model hardware - tires, dampers, hybrid transient powertrains and steering systems - directly into virtual simulations. The mHIL technique can be used for replicating real-world handling maneuvers and events; evaluating, calibrating and tuning suspension components or mechatronic control systems; and evaluating system behavior (or feel) for EPS or ABS systems. These capabilities enable “true” driver-in-the-loop simulation and improve development efficiency by delivering accurate, repeatable test results earlier in the process, minimizing rework in the validation phase. To date, MTS has pursued a variety of mHIL solutions, integrating a diverse array physical hardware from dampers and steering systems to suspension and chassis systems.
The adaptable, low latency environment of the VDS provides an ideal platform for initial subjective evaluation of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). The simulator’s flexible Concurrent hardware interface allows for rapid integration of custom software and hardware components for testing on-board aids such as ABS and ESC. Optional components of the adaptable rFpro environment also enhance ADAS testing capabilities. The rFpro SENSOR_IG plug-in (a variant of its standard Image Generator) allows rendered buffers (32-bit colour, depth, etc.) to be accessed in real-time for use by custom image-processing tools and sensor models. Combining the rFpro TRAFFIC module and a third party software, such as open-source Simulation of Urban MObility (SUMO), provides a fully customizable traffic simulation solution. The rFpro ReplayServer provides the ability to build up and replay exact scenarios to confirm control strategies with multiple vehicles created within the environment.
Contact MTS today to explore how the MTS Vehicle Dynamics Simulator (VDS) can serve to accelerate and streamline your vehicle development processes. To experience next-generation VDS technology today, contact Patrick Lane-Nott, R&D Vehicle Dynamics Simulator Engineer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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