In all walks of life, culture can have a major influence on user-behaviour. Automotive engineers have also realised this, developing different versions for global markets. Think of the recent proliferation of long-wheel-base cars for China and how OEMs have focused efforts on improving the rear seat passenger experience as an example. Such changes can make the difference between choosing one marque or another but what happens when different cultures interface with safety systems ADAS and the rising number of autonomous systems? Do protocols for such systems need to be standardised or should they be customised and how are they best validated? We put these questions and more to Kia Cammaerts, founder of Ansible Motion. Based in Norwich, UK, Ansible Motion provides driving simulator solutions for vehicle constructors and suppliers worldwide.
Firstly, could you explain what your driver-in-the-loop (DIL) simulator offers and how it achieves it?
The aim is to create a fully immersive experience, an environment in which people can interact with a virtual vehicle as if they were interacting with a real one. Thus, it is the human element, a person's emotional and physical involvement, which is the key to creating a compelling DIL simulation. Our simulators can be designed to perfectly replicate an existing car's interior and human-machine interaction space or realise a brand new space from the drawing board. This is not just visual, but tactile as well. The interfaces must feel correct – not just the materials, buttons, switches and touch devices, but the fundamentals must be right. Brake feel, steering torque and so on.
For our high-end simulators, we also offer dynamic motion. We differ from other simulator suppliers that continue to offer hexapods and dart machines. We created a motion base that we call a Stratiform that provides a greater range of overall movements, as well as independent control for a vehicle's primary motion axes. By developing our own motion machinery, we have more direct control over the implementation and seek to create a much more realistic motion experience from the perspective of human perception, so from inside the cabin it feels just as it would in a real car.