Mechanical Simulation updates packages for 2019


Mechanical Simulation has released 2019.0 versions of its vehicle simulation tools: CarSim, TruckSim, BikeSim and SuspensionSim, the suspension simulation package.

The CarSim, TruckSim and BikeSim packages have long featured high-fidelity math models for vehicle dynamics that can reproduce physical test results. According to Mechanical Simulation, the math models run fast enough to support real-time simulation with hardware in the loop and can support massive optimization projects involving hundreds of thousands of simulated conditions.

Version 2019.0 adds new features, including built-in support for hybrid powertrains, importing OpenDRIVE road networks, support for the Michelin TameTire model, a built-in electronic stability controller (ESC) feature, an engineering quality plug-in for the Unreal Engine, and many improvements in existing built-in controllers and programming options.

With the automotive industry investing heavily in ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) and AV (autonomous vehicle) technologies, the simulation tools have been extended to support these new applications. According to Dr Michael Sayers, CEO and CTO at Mechanical Simulation, “With the increasing use of the advanced controllers for ADAS and autonomous driving, simulation is used in increasingly complicated scenarios. Simulations increased vehicle population, operating under more complex conditions and including more interactions with pedestrians and other vehicles.”

In light of this, recent releases of CarSim, TruckSim and BikeSim have introduced new capabilities for building scenarios and providing more realistic video visualization in support of on-board cameras and other sensors. The simulation tools include built-in sensors and target objects that can be used to represent traffic vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, traffic signs and signals, buildings, and any other type of object that is needed to simulate a scenario of interest.

Sayers added that, “two new types of objects were introduced to simplify the creation of scenarios with traffic signs, curved walls along the roadside, and irregular shaped objects.” New options were added for specifying motions of traffic vehicles, with acceleration control to provide built-in physics needed to simulate more complex interactions.

According to Sayers, Mechanical Simulation is supporting more external software and data, especially with tools that provide complicated 3D road networks and intersections, and with tools that provide advanced visualization. Existing capabilities for importing road GPS data from mapping services have been extended.

The new VehicleSim Dynamics plug-in allows any CarSim or TruckSim model to run in the Epic Unreal video environment, while a new interface named VS Terrain API connects any model from CarSim, TruckSim or BikeSim with ground data from external software, such as mesh data files based on extensive measurements made with LIDAR systems. Another component, VS Connect, has been updated to connect VehicleSim models to multiple external environments simultaneously, such as a 3D world handled by Unreal and vehicle controllers running in Simulink.

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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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