Prema Racing has chosen Cruden’s open-architecture Panthera software suite to transform its existing driving simulator hardware, enabling more complex race car setup and development work.
The project has involved integrating the team’s hardware and setting up the Cruden Simulink Vehicle Model (CSVM).
Prema Racing is the latest in a series of race teams opting to upgrade rather than invest in completely new simulator hardware. Its engineers analyse data generated by the simulator to help optimize car setups, as well as to build the experience of young drivers in F4, F3 and F2.
Guillaume Capietto, technical director at Prema Racing, said, “Our previous simulator was reasonably good for driver training and track learning, but it wasn’t realistic enough to be used for car development or setup optimization and was not really open to development by our own engineers. But the hardware we had was good, so we decided to make better use of its capabilities with new software.
“Panthera will give us better platform cueing to improve driver immersion; better performing and more efficient image rendering and a higher display frequency; better control of steering force feedback and belt-tensioner cueing; more realistic car and tire models; and better correlation between simulation and real driving. Our aim is to have a multibody car model which allows us to measure and improve our understanding of setup changes, and to develop our tire model in order to assess data on tire preparation, thermal behavior and wear.”
Cruden first evaluated the existing simulator motion system, the pedal box, IO modules, seat belt-loader, XAP steering wheel and the projection system, at Prema’s premises near Vicenza, Italy. It then equipped the simulator with Cruden Simulink Vehicle Model (CSVM), instances of which will be used to model each type of car raced by Prema, and Cruden’s Panthera software suite, which centralizes the control of simulator components such as motion and control loading, visuals, vehicle dynamics and audio. Panthera was integrated with the existing motion platform, steering wheel, belt loader and pedal box.
CSVM is a true multibody vehicle model created in MATLAB Simulink. With support from a Cruden senior vehicle dynamist, the Prema engineers are now working on adapting CSVM to match the new 2018 F2 car. Panthera is standalone open-architecture software with a flexible and modular setup, for use with any existing or new simulator and with all vehicle models. Interfaces between Panthera’s modules are open, to avoid users being tied to a single supplier for all simulator components, while maintaining the lowest achievable latencies and highest possible bandwidth and image quality.
Maarten van Donselaar, Cruden CEO, said, “Panthera software can significantly reduce the time and cost of driver training, race preparation and vehicle development. Our work with Prema Racing shows that Panthera can be adopted to improve existing simulators which might otherwise seem outmoded, saving racing teams the cost of investing in new simulator hardware, until they are ready to take the next step in their simulator programme.”