Hacking your brain: We drive the £3m simulator designed to break your senses

alphr-magazine.pngThe 2017 Formula show has begun, and new rule changes mean drivers such as Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel will be racing with cars unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Wider and longer than last year’s cars, this year’s racers will also have larger tyres, giving the drivers unprecedented aerodynamic and mechanical grip.

However, thanks to reams of data fed through highly sophisticated simulators, drivers knew how their cars would handle before a wheel was even turned – and months before engineers they’d hit the track.

In 2017, driving simulators play a huge role in road- and race-car development, and teams can spend millions of pounds on them. But just how realistic are these room-sized simulators, how do they work, and most importantly, what’s it like to drive in one? I visited Ansible Motion, a company that makes and supplies simulators to the world’s largest carmakers and motorsport teams to find out.



Located near Wymondham, Ansible Motion’s base is near to the famous Lotus team, but has none of the notoriety of its neighbour. However, despite its unimposing building, Ansible’s client list includes some of the most well-known racing teams and car manufacturers in the world – all with one need in common.

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About Ansible Motion

Founded in 2009, Ansible Motion creates and deploys technology associated with the physical and logical simulation of human-experienced vehicles. We offer a range of automotive Driver-in-the-Loop (DIL) simulators featuring advanced computational and mechanical performance capabilities, and industry-unique motion and immersion solutions that create compelling virtual worlds for drivers and product development engineers.

Ansible Motion DIL simulators are used by automotive and research organisations around the globe to place real people into direct contact with imagined vehicles, on-board systems and situations. Our DIL simulators are designed, built and developed at our factory and R&D Centre in Hethel, England.

In 2022 we were acquired by AB Dynamics plc (www.abdplc.com).