Press Releases 2014 ()

Virtual test methods attract strong interdisciplinary interest

Vehicle developers, suppliers and research scientists from various disciplines informed themselves about new methods and applications for virtual test driving at the Open House hosted by IPG Automotive GmbH.

IPG Automotive welcomed more than 280 international participants at this year’s Open House in Karlsruhe on March 11, 2014. The event was attended by experts from various fields of vehicle development, such as driver assistance, powertrain, electrical/electronic systems and chassis engineering.

While the participants’ fields of work were wide and varied, they shared the same interest in a crucial question: How can new functions and components be integrated into a virtual vehicle at an early stage in order to test and evaluate them in the full vehicle? The trend towards model-based methods is rising because a major part of the development work today is already being performed without physical prototypes. “Therefore, it is important not to lose sight of the product as a whole. Today’s systems are so intensively interlinked that we need to start testing in concert as early as possible in order to control and manage the interactions,” is how one participant described the challenge.

The open integration and test platform CarMaker supports interdisciplinary co-operation through open interfaces and standards. Vehicle components can be integrated into a digital prototype as models, software or hardware, and analyzed in virtual test driving. At the Open House a new, additional interface in CarMaker – the Functional Mock-up Interface (FMI) – was presented. FMI is a cross-industry standard that simplifies the integration of models from different development tools.

The presentation of other new CarMaker functions and models met with keen interest by the guests as well. The virtual traffic environment, for instance, has been clearly enhanced. Detectable road signs, traffic lights and road markings, as well as new visual effects, complement the array of testing possibilities for driver assistance systems. Changed structures in the powertrain and brake models will support the development of new hybrid drive concepts in the future. A real milestone is the integration of real-time capable multi-body suspensions in CarMaker. These enhancements will clearly advance vehicle development.

In addition to informative presentations, the Open House, as in previous years, again offered plenty of opportunities for exchanges with colleagues and the experts from IPG. At a special exhibition, IPG and numerous partners such as AVL, ETAS, Gamma Technologies, FZI Karlsruhe, RTT and imc Meßsysteme showed their tools and solutions in live demos. The demonstration of the Vehicle-in-the-Loop technology was the highlight of the exhibition. A test drive provided the participants with a live experience of a parking-assist system steering a real-world test car into a virtual parking space of simulated vehicles.

The participants’ response was very positive across the board: “The Open House was again a good opportunity to obtain first-hand information about new application options provided by CarMaker and to become acquainted with the methods of neighboring disciplines.” Dr Alexander Schmidt, Managing Director of IPG Automotive GmbH, was pleased as well. Delighted about the high attendance rate, he also regards the Open House as a source of inspiration for the IPG Automotive team: “From the discussions with our users we identify new initiatives for the further development of our simulation solutions and test systems,” he said.

Open House 2014

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