Honda will become the world’s first car manufacturer to adopt new state-of-the-art driving simulator technology based on a revolutionary architecture called DiM250 (Driver-in-Motion).
Most driving simulators make use of motion technology derived from flight simulators, and typically use six actuators to deliver six “degrees of freedom”. However, to accurately reproduce vehicle ride, handling and acceleration characteristics within a single simulator, VI-grade’s DiM250 system uses nine actuators to create additional ranges of motion. It is unique in the industry.
The DiM250 system has been designed by simulator software developer VI-grade, and is engineered and manufactured by automatic controls specialist Saginomiya. Its electrically driven nine-actuator platform is more advanced than conventional “hexapod” designs, and the whole system moves by sliding on airpads, rather than using additional mechanical rails. The airpads counterbalance the high payloads and dynamic loads, and help to make the simulator extremely stiff, silent and reliable.
The integration of software-in-loop (SIL) and hardware-in-loop (HIL) applications within the simulator will enable designers and engineers to evaluate advancements in the vehicle development cycle before physical prototypes have even been built. It will also allow the simulator to more accurately imitate problem scenarios to test safety systems and controls.
The new simulator will be installed at Honda R&D Europe’s technical centre in Offenbach, Germany, in the second half of 2018.