When test driving a vehicle, customers are looking to ensure that the car drives well and feels good to drive. Those are relatively basic needs to fulfill, at least in the customer’s mind, but for engineers, many more factors must be addressed when engineering vehicle dynamics. These objectives include:
- Handling Performance: Is the car fun and easy to drive? How is the dynamic steering response and feel? Is it safe and easy to control?
- Ride Comfort
- Drivability: Includes features such as dynamic acceleration and deceleration, smooth gear shift behavior, and smooth switch between drive modes
- Durability: Avoiding safety issues due to mechanical part failure and minimizing the risk of warranty claims or recalls
- NVH: Eliminating mechanical vibrations and external or cabin noise
- Mechatronic System Experience: Sophisticated, smooth and safe interaction between mechanics and controllers
- Development Reliability and Costs: The ability to validate all relevant vehicle configurations/versions as well as enable new innovative mechanical design solutions and eliminate expensive mechanical prototypes and testing
Several challenges exist in obtaining these objectives. The ever-increasing number of vehicle configurations and varieties can no longer be validated using expensive, ineffective physical testing, so there is a real need for efficient Multi Body Simulation (MBS) solutions. These solutions should be scalable in order to accommodate innovative new vehicle architectures, and their results must be accurate.
There is also an increasing number of controllers interacting with the mechanical system. During the controller design phase, the overall system performance must be ensured for the coupled mechatronic vehicle. Once vehicle controller or component hardware is available, system performance and fail safe need to be validated in combination with virtual vehicle model variants.
It is difficult to assess the human experience of sitting in or driving a vehicle, so real time driving simulators also become a necessary part of the vehicle validation process.
SIMULIA offers solutions that meet all of the needs of the virtual vehicle development process. These tools reduce time to market through the use of standardized processes for developing and virtually validating the vehicle dynamics performance attributes listed above. Best-in-class solver technology reduces development cost and minimizes risk, and advanced real time simulation enables new product experiences. Rapid, reliable and standardized virtual mechatronic system behavior analysis is key to dealing with increasing system complexity and number of vehicle variants, while high accuracy solutions ensure compliance with measurement results and required certification tests.
These solutions have the potential to eliminate physical prototypes, saving time, money, and materials. SIMULIA’s accurate MBS technology can be used from the early concept phase up until the final product validation. Using this technology, manufacturers can ensure reliability and avoid warranty or recall issues. The scalable multiphysics MBS technology can be used for both coupled mechatronic system validation and real time driving simulator applications, ensuring that vehicle performance and driver satisfaction are top notch.