Honda invests in unique driving simulator

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Most vehicle dynamics engineers find that six actuators for six degrees of freedom is sufficient for realistic simulation of ride, handling and acceleration characteristics, but Honda has taken things a step further with a system that uses an additional three nine actuators to create nine ranges of motion.

The unique system, named the DiM250, will be installed at Honda R&D Europe’s technical center in Offenbach, Germany, in the second half of 2018. The DiM250 was designed by simulator software developer VI-grade, and engineered and manufactured by automatic controls specialist Saginomiya. Its electrically-driven nine-actuator platform is claimed to be 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.

Yasunori Oku, EVP of Honda R&D Europe, said, “We expect to use DiM250 primarily for vehicle dynamics and ride applications, as well as using it as a crucial tool to develop and test our ADAS, HMI, powertrain and autonomous driving technologies earlier in the design process. The DiM250 technology will provide an ideal common development platform for our R&D activities, where all teams involved can work together in one single collaborative environment.”

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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