honda cars, Motoring News, vehicle technology

Honda invests in revolutionary R&D driving simulator

  • Simulator housed at Honda’s German technical centre
  • Experience close as currently possible to road driving
  • Supports next-generation vehicle development and testing
SIMULATOR SHAKE-UP: Normal vehicle simulators have six-way action but the new Honda machine has nine. Image: Honda / Quickpic
SIMULATOR SHAKE-UP: Normal vehicle simulators have six-way action but the new Honda machine has nine. Image: Honda / Quickpic

OFFENBACH, Germany – Honda claims it is about to become the world’s first automaker to adopt driving simulator technology based on a revolutionary new architecture called DiM250.

No, that’s not a slur on learner drivers intelligence. It’s an abbreviation for Driver-in-Motion and, Honda says, is unique in the auto industry. It will be installed at Honda R&D Europe’s technical centre in Offenbach in the second half of 2018.

The DiM250 uses nine actuators instead of the six used by a flight simulator from which vehicle simulators were cloned to add the reproduction of a vehicle’s ride, handling and acceleration.

CLOSE-UP ON NEW SIMULATION EQUIPMENT: Honda has commissioned a radical new version of the traditional static machine. Image: Honda / Quickpic
CLOSE-UP ON NEW SIMULATION EQUIPMENT: Honda has commissioned a radical new version of the traditional static machine. Image: Honda / Quickpic

Yasunori Oku, head of Honda R&D Europe, told Carman’s Corner in a media communication: “We expect to use the DiM250 primarily for vehicle dynamics and ride applications though it will also be a tool to develop and test autonomous driving.

NINE-ACTUATOR PLATFORM

“The DiM250 technology will be a development platform common across our research and development activities so all teams involved will be able to work together in a single collaborative environment.”

A company called VI-Grade designed the simulator software thought the machine was assembled by automatic controls specialist SaginomiyaIts electrically-driven nine-actuator platform is more advanced than conventional hexapod designs and the whole system moves on air pads instead of mechanical rails to counterbalance high/dynamic loads and to keep the simulator stiff, silent and reliable.

READ MORE Honda features on Carman’s Corner

The simulator, Honda says, will enable designers and engineers to evaluate vehicle development cycle advances before physical prototypes are assembled. It will also make possible the accurate imitation of problem scenarios to test safety systems and controls.

Juergen Fett, VI-Grade’s managing director, said, “We’re looking forward to continuous and successful use of our technology by Honda R&D to help the company to develop even better cars in a shorter time.”

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