9th Jul 2018

Performance tests confirm aVDS is the first of a new generation of vehicle driving simulators


Independent expert development driver confirms class-leading realism achieved by exceptional frequency response and low latency across the entire range of travel.

The aVDS has been confirmed as the market leader through performance tests and an independent review. The results highlight the aVDS’s consistency of response across a variety of positions throughout the entire operating range. This level of consistency is essential in providing accurate feedback on vehicle development and enables a simulator to be used in new applications, such as autonomous vehicle development.

“By using a next-generation platform, that isn’t based on the traditional hexapod solution, the aVDS provides a long term solution for vehicle development that covers the automotive industry’s predicted technology roadmap,” said Dr. Adrian Simms, Business Director (Laboratory Test Systems) at AB Dynamics. “We believe the aVDS is the first platform that can be used for both secondary ride development as well as the training and development of autonomous vehicles. By integrating this into the vehicle development loop, including lab and track based testing, it will significantly reduce vehicle development cost and timescales for vehicle manufacturers.”

The low latency of the system (as little as 4ms in roll) helps the driver to feel smaller changes, making the simulator more useful: for example, in modelling secondary ride. In those degrees of freedom important for ride (pitch, roll and heave), the system has achieved bandwidths of 50Hz, which is vital for effective simulation.

“The industry-accepted maximum frequency required to model secondary ride is often quoted as 30Hz,” explained Dr. Simms. “If you want to test to 30Hz, you require a motion platform bandwidth higher than 30Hz, such as the 50Hz achieved by the aVDS.”

The aVDS next-generation vehicle driving simulator has been developed by AB Dynamics using an innovative motion platform and proven motion control techniques, with immersive digital content provided by leading software supplier rFpro. The reduced latency and increased frequency response of the aVDS, compared to alternative systems, allows customers to complete more test, development and calibration tasks without a prototype vehicle.

As part of the performance tests, AB Dynamics employed an independent test driver to review the platform. Felix Scott, an experienced expert test driver and tuning engineer said, “With the aVDS, you are able to take the vehicle to the limit and keep it there – that is only achievable with the level of latency the aVDS offers. It allowed me to detect minute alterations in set-up changes. This low latency combined with the stereo projection meant that car sickness (a common complaint of driving simulators) was not an issue for me. If you jump out of AB Dynamics’ simulator and into a real car it feels completely normal, which is exactly what you are looking for.”

The high excursion capability of the aVDS ensures plenty of travel for effective motion cueing, enhancing the impression of changes in speed and direction. The low latency ensures that all the driver’s senses are cued at precisely the right time, increasing realism and helping to eliminate the motion sickness that can be felt in some systems. The consistently high frequency response throughout the full range of travel is achieved by the unique arrangement of the motion platform, which ensures accurate simulation of vehicle attributes, including ride quality and steering feel, wherever the moving platform goes.

“As new models continue to proliferate, vehicle dynamics simulators help to alleviate time and budget pressures by providing engineers with the physical experience of driving a vehicle, but in the repeatable environment of a laboratory,” explained Simms. “Until now, the range of applications has been constrained by the physics of the motion platform, which has generally limited most successful simulator use to human machine interface and ergonomic studies. The high performance required for vehicle dynamics applications has not been available.

“Our new approach advances performance to a degree that allows much more to be achieved, extending the range of applications into many other functions that would traditionally have required a prototype vehicle,” continued Simms. “We believe that this is the first system to offer a high-resolution, fully-representative driving experience, making it the first true Vehicle Driving Simulator.”

To see an animation that illustrates the novel aVDS mechanism, click here.

Please direct any business enquiries to SimulatorEnquiries@abdynamics.com

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