R&D centre advances simulation technology for car developers

May 27, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
One of the world’s most advanced vehicle simulators has launched its activities in Hethel (Norfolk, UK). The facility is owned and operated by simulation technology company Ansible Motion, Inc. and will be used to develop and showcase simulation technologies for testing and developing vehicles in a virtual environment.

The new simulator at the Hethel Engineering Centre features Ansible Motion’s Delta series simulator with a six degrees of freedom motion system, powered by sixteen 5GHz computers, with five projectors offering a frame rate that is five times faster than a cinema projecting a 240 degree wrap around view on an 8m screen. The R&D Centre also features a control room to monitor up to 300 channels of data, separate viewing gallery and secure conference rooms.

Ansible Motion designs and builds ‘Driver-in-the-Loop’ simulators that are increasingly used by vehicle manufacturers and motorsport engineers to develop and test vehicles. Ansible Motion focusses on ‘engineering-class’ simulators that can be used to validate safety vehicle systems, sign off vehicle settings and in motorsport, where the company has already supplied one F1 team, to define aero, gearbox and suspension settings and predict a lap time before creating a physical car. By working in a consistent virtual world, engineers can cut months from a vehicle test programme with significant cost savings from being able to test road and weather conditions from anywhere on the planet in a laboratory setting.

“Simulators such as the Delta series in our new R&D Centre offer vehicle manufacturers a no-compromise method to reduce development costs and time,” says Kia Cammaerts, founder of Ansible Motion. “Using our simulator can cut the validation time from ten days to just three for an Electronic Stability Control programme for one particular car maker.” Cammaerts added that these kinds of cost and time savings can be achieved not only with regards to specific electronic control units but for the whole car. For this reason, more and more global carmakers are using this technology to speed development cycles and at the same time reduce costs significantly.

The demand for Ansible Motion’s simulator has been driven by the different approach it has taken to create its light and compact platform, Cammaerts said. “With a strong emphasis on