The BMW Group is creating every opportunity for its vehicle research and development engineers to simulate and test the product requirements of the future under realistic conditions with its new Driving Simulation Centre. With 14 simulators and usability labs covering an area of 11,400 square meters, it is the most advanced and diversified simulation centre in the automotive industry.
The centre provides the various specialist areas in vehicle development with an ideal simulation tool. Facilities range from static simulators without a motion system to the high-fidelity simulator, which transports the road into the lab to remarkably realistic effect with its nearly 400 square meters of motion area. Whether it’s innovative entertainment technologies and display and operating concepts, multimodal interaction between occupants and vehicle, fine-tuning of the chassis, or wide-ranging driver assistance functions all the way up to interior scenarios for fully automated driving – virtually every aspect of car development can be tested here in terms of suitability for the customer.
The tests take place inside a platform of the driving simulator with a distinctive dome shape. Here, the systems for testing are installed in a vehicle mock-up. The dome is mounted on an electromechanical hexapod system and can be moved in both a longitudinal and a lateral direction by means of a further electric drive unit. Inside the dome, the vehicle mock-up stands on a turntable for recreating rotary movements.
The dome is used for a 360-degree projection of the surrounding area to give drivers a realistic visual image of the simulated traffic situation. Precise synchronization of the visual projection with the vehicle mock-up’s movements gives the simulated driving situation a very realistic feel. The visual impressions and the longitudinal, lateral and vertical acceleration forces acting on the test person merge to create a near-perfect overall sensation of dynamic motion. Completing the virtual test drive scenario is a simulated soundtrack that is likewise matched exactly to the situation being replicated.
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