Honda's latest driving simulator ups the actuators for greater range of motion
Honda has become the first car manufacturer to adopt a new driving simulator technology that uses more servos than the average flight simulator most driving sims are based upon. The Driver-in-Motion 250 (DiM250) uses nine servos to move the cockpit, adding extra dimensions to movement.
The average driving simulator uses six servos to create the "degrees of freedom" normally found in vehicular movement, including both X and Y axis movement. With the DiM250, three more servos are added to simulate ride quality, handling, and most importantly, acceleration/deceleration characteristics.
"We expect to use DiM250 primarily for vehicle dynamics and ride applications, as well as using it as a crucial tool to develop and test our ADAS, HMI, powertrain and autonomous driving technologies earlier in the design process," says Honda R&D Europe Executive Vice President Yasunori Oku.
The DiM250 will be installed at Honda's research and development facility in Offenbach, Germany, in the second half of 2018. Designed by simulator software developer VI-grade, and manufactured by automatic controls specialist Saginomiya, the nine-actuator platform slides on airpads rather than using mechanical rails on a "hexipad" design. This counterbalances payloads and dynamic loads, making the simulator quieter.
Software-in-loop and hardware-in-loop applications in the DiM250 enable design engineers to evaluate changes made to vehicle designs on the fly, during the development cycle. The simulator will be used to evaluate changes being made before they are made into physical prototypes for testing and will give engineers more accurate information and a better ability to imitate problem scenarios to test safety systems and controls.