This highly accurate virtual model of Applus IDIADA’s proving ground is used for the development of vehicles in simulation. The digital twin enables manufacturers to accelerate and improve the vehicle development process. It enables the evaluation of systems and vehicles in a fully representative virtual environment, both before and after physical prototypes are available for validation on the track.
Within the new circuit models, even the lighting is modelled accurately for Applus IDIADA’s latitude and longitude, and will adjust automatically according to user-defined settings for the day of the year, time of day, atmospheric and weather conditions. Circumstances, such as the transition between poorly-lit and well-lit areas, the effect of the sun low in the sky or the approaching headlights of oncoming vehicles, are all faithfully reproduced.
Virtual simulation has become increasingly important in vehicle development. It speeds up and reduces the cost of development, whilst also allowing a wider range of parameters to be explored in complete safety. But in order to be effective as a development tool, simulation must correlate accurately with the real world.
“The road surface modelling is so accurate and the correlation between simulation and the real world so good that we are able to extend the use of digital models into Vehicle Dynamics applications,” says Sebastien Hoppenot, Applus IDIADA test driver. “The dry handling circuit is a great combination of long quick corners, medium-speed chicanes and undulating turns, which are accurately brought to life in the simulator. It is the perfect place to assess aspects of vehicle dynamics, such as understeer/oversteer balance, steering feedback, rear axle stability and yaw damping.”