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Pirelli reduces tyre development time with new VI-grade STATIC simulator

25 February 2020

VI-grade, a leading provider of best-in-class software products and services for advanced applications in the field of system-level simulation, has announced the inauguration of the brand-new STATIC driving simulator featuring active technologies to replicate precisely vehicle and tyre characteristics at Pirelli’s research and development division in Milan, Italy.

It will be mainly utilised for the tyre development for the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, other motorsport series and road-going tyres, reducing development cycles.

Compared to traditional development methods, the STATIC simulator allows a virtual model of any car – either supplied by the manufacturer or produced internally – to be quickly programmed into the system, while joint design and development work can also be carried out on the manufacturer’s own driving simulator. This means that tyre development lead times remain perfectly in step with those of the cars that they are destined for, with more new models coming out more frequently these days. Furthermore, the use of the new driving simulator to maximise the virtual development phase means that the number of actual physical prototypes made is reduced, underpinning Pirelli’s sustainability approach.

The STATIC Simulator is based on the same VI-DriveSim software package used on Compact Simulators and DiM Dynamic Simulators from VI-grade. It is also fully compatible with third-party software solutions. This enables customers to leverage previous investments and use the same toolchain both on the static simulator and on a dynamic one. HMI, ride and handling, NVH and ADAS are some of the disciplines that can be investigated using a static simulator by VI-grade. Complementary technologies such as VI-BioTelemetry, VI-ActiveSeat and VI-ActiveBelts, are also compatible with the STATIC simulator. Thanks to the real-time hardware infrastructure, the Static Simulator is also suitable for software-in-the-loop and hardware-in-the-loop applications.

Featuring a wrap-round 210 degree panoramic screen, 7.5 meters in diameter, the simulation technology can visually reproduce a wide range of different driving conditions, roads and circuits. At the heart of the systems is a static car equipped with various active technologies to reproduce exactly the sensations that any driver would feel in a real car.

Equipped with a driver’s seat, steering wheel, seat belts, and different shaker systems, the simulator can precisely replicate the movements of the suspension and the engine.

With all virtual development processes already developed by Pirelli and thanks to the cutting-edge driving simulation technology, there is now a 30% reduction in average development time for new tyres, thanks to faster assessment of virtual prototypes produced for different car models.

“We are delighted to report the adoption of our STATIC driving simulator at Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli,” said VI-grade’s Alessio Lombardi, sales director, South Europe and UK. “This confirms the ongoing trend that sees international tier 1 suppliers implement our driving simulator solutions, with the aim of better collaborating with automotive OEMs.”

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