In 2020, Continental invested in a Driver-in-the-Loop simulator that was completed in April 2022. Over the past year, the team at the Contidrom have familiarized themselves with the simulator and, as of June 2023, it’s been open for use by OE customers to aid tire development for specific vehicles.
Unlike the Automated Indoor Braking Analyzer (AIBA) – which was Continental’s own creation – this simulator is Ansible Motion's Delta S3.
Julian Kroeber, driving simulator engineer at Continental, explains:
We are trying to link the real testing outside with our simulation in virtual development. The key subjective feel of driving a vehicle is one of the key development targets for us and our customers. The feeling of how the virtual vehicle and virtual tire behave together cannot be subjectively analyzed with computer model. This driving simulator is bridging the gap.
Continental has spent the past year learning how to implement the simulator in testing for lane changing, on-center response tests and linear handling. . . . Similar to the continued technological developments of the AIBA, the simulator technology will be fine-tuned over the coming years to increase testing capacity, efficiency and repeatability.
Instead of a three-month process to create a physical prototype, tires can now be tested and analyzed within 90 minutes. Kroeber explains that the capabilities will enable engineers to adapt designs to achieve desired characteristics in a much shorter timeframe, adding that :
This is a tremendous acceleration of our development process.
Read the full story in the September 2023 edition of Automotive Testing Technology International magazine.