Ansible’s latest DiL simulator targets the full spectrum of vehicle development needs

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Designed to be capable of validating the technologies needed for rapidly developing electrification, autonomous, driver-assistance as well as HMI and vehicle dynamics technologies, simulator specialist Ansible Motion has revealed full details of its production Delta series S3 Driver-in-the-Loop (DIL) simulator.

Said to be the company’s most sophisticated, high-performance, dynamic driving simulator to date, the Delta S3 simulator satisfies a growing demand for high-fidelity, high-dynamic, human-centric vehicle simulations in both road and motorsport applications.

Designed and manufactured in-house in Hethel, Norfolk, UK, Ansible Motion’s AML SMS2 Stratiform Motion System sits at the heart of the Delta S3’s dynamic capabilities. The sim’s scalable architecture also means that it can be built and delivered in multiple size options, making it ideal for a broad range of automotive product development use cases such as expert driver assessments, chassis dynamics, powertrain driveability, ADAS and active safety function calibration, V2X studies and HMI design evaluations.

Drawing on feedback from its growing customer base of some of the leading global OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, Ansible says the S3 can deliver accelerations beyond 1g, velocities above 5m/s and exceptional frequency response. The simulator is capable of full 360° dynamic yaw rotations, and a set of engineered linear rails – scalable from 4m to 10m in length – enables sustained, independent sway and surge motions for a more immersive and representative experiences for maneuvers such as aggressive lane changing and autonomous parking, and anything in between.

Another key feature is the use of a patent-pending mechanism to carry the cabin. This system offers a further three degrees of freedom (heave, pitch and roll) to the vehicle motion profile. Crucially, the design means a vehicle cabin up to 500kg can be exercised dynamically in all six degrees of freedom (the maximum possible for defining the motion of a body), at any point.

This solution avoids the usual, complex interactions between multiple motion controllers in the control system, which can lead to inconsistencies in the motion depending on the current position or velocity of the vehicle, and it eliminates the drastic reductions in usable motion space that can occur with parallel motion systems.

It also dramatically reduces the complexity of controlling and tuning the motion system for different use cases. This has practical implications for Ansible Motion’s customers: the Delta S3’s proprietary motion control system means human evaluators can experience the full range of vehicle behaviors from low-dynamic to high-dynamic with smooth, nuanced motion and extremely low latency.

“Our new Delta series S3 addresses a requirement from both OEMs and Tier 1s for a highly capable and versatile driving simulator – a single virtual environment that delivers everything needed to convincingly engage real people with the automotive product development process, early and often, sometimes well before prototype vehicles exist,” said Ansible Motion’s director, Kia Cammaerts. “We have always focused on achieving high-dynamic and high-fidelity motion for all six degrees of freedom that define a vehicle’s movement. The new Delta series S3 simulator expands on this in all areas, ensuring it’s a dependable tool that meets the demands necessary to validate future automotive technologies.”

With simulation now a key enabler for vehicle manufacturers to develop their ever-increasing range of new vehicle technologies and advancements, Ansible Motion says it has worked to ensure that the Delta series S3, as a single tool, is capable of supporting the gamut of manufacturer testing needs.

For example, the company notes that vehicle dynamics and chassis development engineers will benefit from the S3’s ability to achieve high dynamic responses in heave, pitch and roll, while the linear rails provide the opportunity to do 1:1 motion cueing for lane change maneuvers, and the rapid changes of direction for developing onboard safety technologies such as stability control and collision avoidance systems.

When it comes to validating urban driving systems, the sim’s 360° yaw capability, complemented by the new 360° panoramic vision system, will be beneficial in eliminating the human immersion inconsistencies that have been a barrier for many drivers in trusting driving simulators to assist in the pre-protype development of certain systems such as blind spot and pedestrian detection systems.

Furthermore, powertrain engineers will be able to harness the unit’s ability to replicate the greater accelerations and nuanced dynamics required to develop and tune their systems. In addition, the Delta S3 utilizes the latest version of Ansible Motion’s AML DDB Distributed Data Bus, a synchronous real-time computing environment with open and modular software architecture that enables connectivity to the external simulation environments and Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) test benches required for drivetrain developments. Effectively, this means the Delta S3 provides an opportunity for engineers and evaluators to actually drive a car with a brand-new combustion engine (ICE) or electric powertrain unit that may be operating on a dyno in a completely different location.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology International and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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