Pirelli has inaugurated a new driving simulator at its research and development division in Milan. The manufacturer says it is using its experience with simulation in Formula 1 to accelerate road tyre development cycles and tyre testing, reducing lead times and reinforcing partnerships with leading car makers with increased agility. Pirelli is the latest premium brand tyre maker to implement new simulation technology into its R&D department, following announcements by Michelin and Goodyear. The Italian brand adds that the new simulator is the latest instalment of its digitalisation strategy.
For the generations raised in the late 20th century, the idea of travel simulators raises images of a capsule for eight people moved around with hydraulics to match a film, or perhaps contestants tasked with landing a plane on The Krypton Factor. Since those heady days, exponential increases in computer processing power and the ability to model a rapidly increasing range of sensory outputs from a highly complex web of inputs. Compared to the relatively broad strokes of retro aeronautical simulation, the convincingly realistic representation of the driving environment has become a legitimate source of automotive research and development. The latest simulation technology is increasingly making its way into tyre development as a means of increasing the efficiency of product development. With Michelin’s announcement that it would install a new Driver-in-the-Loop (DIL) simulator at its North America Research & Development centre in Greenville, South Carolina, USA, Tyres & Accessories got in touch with its manufacturer Ansible Motion and its international manager for the company’s commercial group, Phil Morse to talk about the increasing prevalence of human-in-the-loop simulation within tyre and vehicle development, and the opportunities it offers.
Goodyear has purchased new VI-grade driving simulators, including a dynamic model, to enhance its product development. The tyre manufacturer has selected a Compact Simulator recently delivered to the company’s innovation centre in Luxembourg and a Dynamic Driving Simulator DiM250 (Driver-in-Motion) to be installed in Akron, Ohio, in the coming months.
Michelin is installing a new Ansible Motion Driver-in-the-Loop (DIL) simulator at its North America Research & Development centre in Greenville, South Carolina, USA. The Theta C simulator offers virtual test driving and evaluation of tyre-road-vehicle interactions in advance and in parallel with physical testing, with detailed simulation environments. Michelin is the first company to take delivery of the Theta C simulator since the product was formally launched.
Pirelli has joined simulation company Slightly Mad Studios’ Project CARS franchise in a technical, promotional, and marketing partnership. The agreement brings Pirelli’s motorsport and tyre technology, and North America’s premier GT production series, the Pirelli World Challenge, to the second iteration of the game. The series will come with Project CARS 2’s release on 22 September, playable in the in-game career mode, and featuring GT3 cars and their specific liveries. Tracks include Long Beach, Circuit of the Americas, Road America, and the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Yokohama Rubber has announced its development of a simulation technology for multi-objective design exploration of rubber materials. The new technology is said to have been developed to “support innovative thinking about rubber material design.” Yokohama Rubber states an aim of using such innovative thinking to “create tyres that meet the highest standards in areas that normally are at odds with each other, such as low fuel consumption and safety or ultralight weight and high rigidity.”