Horiba Mira’s new driving simulator centre to enhance next-gen vehicle attribute engineering

Driving Simulator Centre provides a safe, controlled, efficient and cost-effective environment to develop, simulate and optimise vehicle attribute performance and tackle complex engineering challenges; significantly reduces the need for physical vehicle testing, prototypes and the associated carbon emissions

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 29 Sep 2023 Views icon4520 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Automotive engineering, test and development consultancy HORIBA MIRA has launched its new Driving Simulator Centre at its UK head office in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Featuring cutting-edge driver-in-the-loop simulator technology, supported by HORIBA MIRA’s engineering service and consultancy, the Driving Simulator Centre affirms HORIBA MIRA’s position as a leading global provider of vehicle attribute engineering. 

Over £4 million has been invested in the new facility to enable established automotive OEMs, new start-up vehicle manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers to develop new vehicles that reflect marque brand characteristics. By using virtual tools, the new capability will deliver vehicle attributes that conform to brand DNA faster, more sustainably and at a reduced development cost.

At the heart of the new Driving Simulator Centre is the UK’s first VI-grade DiM250 Dynamic Simulator, one of the world’s most advanced and high-performance dynamic motion driving simulators. Use of the simulator significantly reduces the need for physical vehicle testing and prototypes, reducing associated carbon emissions. At full reduction, one developed vehicle model using the VI-grade simulator could avoid a maximum potential of 14,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).

Customers utilising HORIBA MIRA’s Driving Simulator Centre will also get access to its VI-grade COMPACT simulator, acquired in 2021, conveniently located within the same facility.

ENABLES ACCURATE, UNLIMITED COMPARISONS QUICKLY AND AT LOWER COST

The Driving Simulator Centre, together with HORIBA MIRA’s subjective-led attribute methodology, puts the human-in-the-loop at the very start of the virtual engineering series. Attribute development engineers can make accurate and unlimited comparisons quickly and at lower cost, often at the flick of a switch.

This is especially important when working to balance conflicting attributes to achieve an optimised vehicle. This results in more informed subjective-led decisions being made throughout the entire development cycle rather than waiting for a physical prototype – and in many cases can significantly reduce the number of prototypes required.  

The Driving Simulator Centre enables automotive companies to conduct virtual development across many automotive applications. Predominantly this is focused on the driven attributes: vehicle dynamics, noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH), and drivability, but also includes holistic engineering across capabilities growing in complexity and importance, such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), human machine interface (HMI) and x-in-the-loop (XiL) applications. 

REDUCING INDUSTRY RELIANCE ON CARBON-INTENSIVE PHYSICAL PRTOTYPES 

For almost 80 years, HORIBA MIRA has played a pioneering role in automotive engineering innovation. As the industry pivots, HORIBA MIRA continues to lead the charge and is aligning its engineering capabilities and infrastructure to support its customers in the transition to net zero. The Driving Simulator Centre is a key enabler of net zero ambitions by significantly reducing the industry’s reliance on carbon-intensive physical prototypes. 

Alongside the Driving Simulator Centre, HORIBA MIRA has made significant investments in its propulsion and electromobility capabilities, as well as developing the MIRA Technology Park in Nuneaton, which is now home to 40-plus pioneering companies working on emerging technologies that are revolutionising the automotive industry to help it to realise net zero. 

Declan Allen, Managing Director at HORIBA MIRA, said, “Through the newly launched Driving Simulator Centre, the speed, cost and complexity of refining driven vehicle attributes to meet today’s changing customer expectations is significantly reduced. This new facility enhances HORIBA MIRA’s capabilities and is an enabler of its attribute-led development methodology, while also being a critical tool supporting complex engineering developments across ADAS, HMI and XiL.”

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