Expo speaker interview: Mark Gillan

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The director of the motorsports technology group at MTS Systems reveals more details of the new simulator developed in collaboration with McLaren

What are the advantages of the new simulator, of which you will provide more details at the show?

McLaren Applied Technologies and MTS Systems Corporation are collaborating on a next-generation vehicle dynamics simulator (VDS) that will provide vehicle designers and engineers a revolutionary means for accelerating and streamlining development processes. Benefiting from 15 years of McLaren vehicle modeling and simulation expertise, the VDS will be manufactured by MTS and made available to automotive OEMs, motorsports teams, and Tier 1 suppliers worldwide.

Why did you decide to develop it and what are its main features?

The VDS employs a driver-in-the-loop approach that enables engineers to test drive conceptual vehicle designs through numerous virtual environments and scenarios, well in advance of the availability of physical prototypes. It comprises a dynamic motion platform, sophisticated sensory cueing and a highly adaptable virtual environment, with rFactor Pro graphics, that facilitate rapid integration and real-time synchronization of complex vehicle and terrain models with physical hardware. The resulting simulation and driver feedback enables engineers to identify and resolve handling issues and study the impact of design changes in early-stage development, avoiding the need for expensive, time-consuming rework during late-stage validation. This new VDS technology can be experienced at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, England.

Why is it unique?

The VDS offers unique advantages over conventional driving simulators. An extremely portable, efficient, inherently quiet, high fidelity, low latency modular design make it suitable for office, laboratory or track deployment, providing a common experiential reference for players across the development continuum. Additionally, the VDS is designed to accommodate advanced mechanical hardware-in-the-loop technology, which offers the potential for real-time integration of difficult-to-model hardware – tires, dampers, hybrid transient powertrains and steering systems – directly into simulations, enabling further reductions in lead-times and cost while improving correlation.

Mark Gillan will present further project details in a presentation at the Open Technology Forum to be held alongside Automotive Testing Expo Europe in June.

April 22, 2015 

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About Author

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive, marine and entertainment divisions. Currently editor of Automotive Testing Technology International, Crash Test Technology International and Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as co-chairman of the annual Electric & Hybrid Marine Awards and can be found sniffing out stories throughout the halls of several of UKI's industry-leading expo events.

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