Ferrari adopts new driving simulator technology


Ferrari is to use the newly developed motion platform named DiM (Driver in Motion) developed by VI-grade and Saginomiya. The new dynamic platform for the driving simulator will be installed later this year at the Ferrari Gestione Industriale site in Maranello, Italy and will be used for testing and optimizing the setup of Ferrari’s road cars.

Leveraging the experience developed with Formula 1, Ferrari will be using the driving simulator to optimize performance, system integration and driver feeling.

The 9DOF, newly developed DiM platform has been designed in order to take full advantage of VI-MotionCueing, an innovative motion cueing strategy developed by VI-grade in collaboration with the University of Padua, Italy. It consists of a small-size hexapod mounted on top of a planar frame moving on a very smooth sliding surface by means of a system based on air pads and magnetic pads.

The hexapod has been designed to produce consistent pitch and roll rotations and Z translations, as well as small X and Y translations and Yaw rotation. The consistent X, Y and Yaw movements required to generate the feeling of vehicle accelerations on the driver are instead generated by the base tripod. VI-MotionCueing harmonizes the system motion extending the motion envelope and separating low and high-frequency contributions, which makes this type of motion platform suitable for both vehicle dynamics and ride studies.

The driving simulator is based on the usage of VI-CarRealTime, VI-grade’s flagship solution for real-time vehicle dynamics simulation. The vehicle model is used to calculate the real-time response to the driver’s input that is provided to VI-MotionCueing, that in turn produces the inputs to the inverse kinematic program which controls the actuators.

“The DiM solution completely meets our specifications and expectations for a system that represents the perfect complement to our existing engineering process,” said Marco Fainello, head of car performance simulation at Ferrari. “We have relied on VI-grade software solutions for our automotive system simulations for several years and we are looking forward to realizing the maximum benefits out of the high-resolution simulated motion control capabilities provided by DiM. We are also convinced that the revolutionary 9DOF motion platform from Saginomiya will allow us to reach the target to improve the tools to optimize both handling and ride of the cars we are developing.”

In other news, the VI-rtus Team of the University of Salento, Italy, has won the 2012 edition of VI-grade’s Virtual Formula championship, sponsored by Lamborghini and Vehicle Dynamics International. The winning team was officially awarded during the 5th VI-grade Users Conference held in Marburg, Germany on April 10-11, 2013.

“Our congratulations go to the winning team, which will receive two VI-Motorsport licenses, an exciting one-day VI-DriveSim session at VI-grade’s SimCenter, as well as lots of merchandising material provided by Lamborghini, technical sponsor of the competition”, said Guido Bairati, sales director of VI-grade.

“We also appreciate the success achieved by teams from several emerging countries who participated in the competition. This reflects the growing request for sponsorships that our company is receiving from universities and research centers worldwide.”

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About Author


Graham Heeps is a regular contributor, and knows the dynamics industry well, having previously edited the title. Graham also writes regularly on automotive and motorsport subjects for other magazines from Vehicle Dynamics International’s publisher, UKi Media & Events (as well as editing Tire Technology International), and contributes to a range of online and print publications in the UK, USA and Canada.

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