Simulate to Validate

Jonathan Newell finds out how simulation technology is being used at all phases of product validation in the automotive industry using very different approaches.


he use of simulation tools of varying degrees of complexity has always had a place within the automotive industry and more recently, this use has accelerated to match the complexity of connected,

autonomous vehicles (CAVs) and driver assist systems. As this complexity increases, there’s also a need to

have access to a variety of tools to assist engineers in visualising behaviour and performance at all stages of the design, test and validation process. This includes model based approaches to testing and verifying the function of components and subsystems through to complete system simulation using Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) and Driver-in- Motion models.

MODEL BASED APPROACH To assist automotive development and test engineers to shorten design cycles and gain the best insight into their test programmes, Siemens has now introduced a simulation element into its Simcenter Testlab software for data acquisition, analytics and modelling. The latest version of Simcenter Testlab introduces model-based system testing by embedding virtual simulation within the physical testing programme for system validation at any development stage. The software includes full end-to-end durability

testing, uniquely combining data collection and analytics into one single environment. It covers every step of a typical test campaign, from channel setup and measurements, to validation, consolidation, analysis and reporting.

According to Siemens, model-based system testing enables attribute-specific evaluation throughout the development cycle using virtual models, combined virtual-physical models and physical prototypes. Simcenter Testlab closes the loop with simulation by enabling integration of a wide variety of models from Simcenter Amesim software for co-simulation and on-the-fly creation of model-based virtual channels using measured inputs, thus providing deep physical insights into the device under test. According to Jan Leuridan, senior vice president of Simulation and Test Solutions at Siemens, the inclusion of this technology in Simcenter is a testament to the importance of simulation.

2 /// Automotive Test & Validation 2018

❱ ❱ ABOVE: Combining Driver-in-

Motion with Hardware-in-

the-Loop results in authentic engineering

grade simulations “Simcenter supports innovative product

development by helping manufacturers realise innovation by validating prototypes and their digital twins,” he explains.

COLLABORATIVE TOOLS Taking the model based approach a stage further has resulted in a recent collaboration between tyre manufacturer, Michelin and full vehicle simulation specialist, VI-grade. Predicting the complex behaviour of tyres is a task that is best performed by specialist models, such as Michelin’s TameTire, a thermo-mechanical simulation tool developed by the tyre manufacturer. Its objective is to calculate the tyre’s thermal and transient conditions as well as its forces and torques in both offline and online real-time environments. To achieve this aim, Michelin has partnered with

VI-grade to integrate TameTire with VI-CarRealTime on a static driving simulator, which is installed it at the tyre manufacturer’s premises in Clermont- Ferrand, France. According to a TameTire and Driving Simulator

Expert at Michelin, the possibility of using TameTire and VI-CarRealTime together will satisfy the needs of customers for reliable vehicle models and accurate tyre models in one solution.

FULL VEHICLE SIMULATION As vehicle technology becomes more complex, more automotive manufacturers are opting for full vehicle simulation to test chassis dynamics, sub-system performance and to validate the functions of ADAS and autonomous control systems. Automotive giants Subaru, Honda and Mercedes

have all taken simulation products from VI-grade this year alone and China’s electric vehicle pioneer, NIO has installed the DiM150 (Driver in Motion) dynamic driving simulator as a turnkey system to virtually test the dynamic behaviour of new electric vehicles in the company’s automotive projects, with particular attention on interactions between vehicle chassis and ADAS and AI algorithms. Without the use of simulation, such complex interactions would be extremely difficult to model comprehensively in physical test programmes.

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