Engineering leaders release world’s first ‘virtual proving ground’ simulator


One of the leaders in advanced engineering, research and product testing, Horiba MIRA, has enhanced its full vehicle simulation offering with the development of the world’s first commercially available ‘virtual proving ground’.

The virtual proving ground, used in the dynamic simulation process, provides a 3D representation of the durability and ride comfort surfaces from Horiba MIRA’s world class proving ground in a format directly compatible with MSC Software’s automated dynamic analysis of mechanical systems (ADAMS) car suite.

Available as a plug-in into the existing MSC Adams software, the world’s most widely used multibody dynamics (MBD) software, the virtual proving ground enables customers to efficiently test development-stage vehicles in a simulated environment. The primary function of the virtual proving ground is the ability to generate ‘virtual’ road load data (RLD) for the use in durability and ride comfort analysis of multiple vehicle systems. Among others, such an analysis allows the study of a component to establish whether it will suffer from fatigue failure during its life, knowing the component’s geometry, material and loading.

The use of virtual road load data saves considerable time and resource and improves simulation accuracy at the early stages of the vehicle development process. It ensures that load cases are generated from road surfaces that will later be used for the validation of physical prototypes, rather than using library RLD from other platforms or ‘man-made’ events in the simulation environment. Horiba MIRA’s proving ground, one of the largest in the world, is home to 26 circuits, including a ride and handling circuit, durability and performance surfaces, wet handling surfaces and a city circuit. The virtual proving ground is available in a range of bundles, enabling users to virtually access the specific circuits they need.

“We offer a rare combination of digital simulation and physical test capabilities that serves both sides of the product development ‘V’ cycle. To build on this, over the last two years our durability simulation team has developed the virtual proving ground into a usable customer product, and we’re delighted to now make it available as an addition to MSC ADAMS car,” explained Nick Fell, engineering director at Horiba MIRA.

“The technology will provide a valuable resource for new entrants to the automotive industry as well as established OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, helping them improve the accuracy of their durability simulation and reducing their reliance on prototype vehicles for load case generation.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).