Formula One team, Alfa Romeo Racing, has commissioned an advanced vehicle driving simulator (aVDS) from AB Dynamics, a driver-in-the loop (DiL) system which will be used for race car development, driver training and performance optimisation. The system was selected as it was deemed to meet the team’s requirements to minimise latency in both the visual environment and the motion system. Alfa Romeo’s racing engineers are now working in partnership with AB Dynamics on motorsport-specific developments for the aVDS.
The precisely timed audio, visual, vestibular and haptic cues of the system – using software co-developed with rFpro – are designed to fully immerse the driver in the test environment, while the levels of platform excursion also enhance the impression of speed and directional changes.
“The simulator’s extremely low latency levels ensure the expected motion cues are delivered at precisely the correct time. This is essential for good results as perceived miscues reduce realism and are a common cause of simulator motion sickness,” stated Dr Adrian Simms, AB Dynamics’ business director for laboratory test systems. “The aVDS offers incredibly low latency and consistency of response due to the unique motion platform concept. This makes it ideal for use in elite motorsport, where the smallest of changes can make the difference between success or failure”.
Alfa Romeo Racing driver Antonio Giovinazzi, who helped the team test and evaluate a range of simulators before commissioning the aVDS, added, “The aVDS provides the realism and functionality that best suited the team’s needs. When driving the aVDS, vehicle setup parameter changes were made that were smaller than those typically made on the real car. The aVDS was capable of accurately representing the effect that these changes would have on the real car. The tests effectively proved the capability of the aVDS to optimise vehicle performance prior to on-track testing.”