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Source: BMW Group Munich. With the new driving simulation center, the BMW Group is creating all possibilities for its vehicle development and research to realistically test and simulate the product requirements of the future. With 14 simulators and usability laboratories on 11,400 m², it is the most modern and versatile simulation center in the automotive industry. Michael Brachvogel, Head of BMW Group Research Interior, User Interaction, User Experience and Driving Simulation: “The aim of the new center is for every area as well as to offer the optimal simulation tool under one roof for every phase of vehicle development. ”Customer focus in development is also raised to a whole new level. “We can complete tests for studies with up to 100 test persons a day,” says Brachvogel. The ideal simulation tool for every phase of development. From the early concept phase to the final functional validation, the center offers the various specialist areas of vehicle development the ideal simulation tool. The spectrum ranges from static simulators without a movement system to the high fidelity simulator, which “brings the street into the laboratory realistically” on a movement area of ​​almost 400 m². Innovative entertainment technologies and display and operating concepts, multimodal interaction between occupants and vehicle, fine-tuning of the chassis and extensive driver assistance functions through to interior scenarios in fully automated driving – almost every aspect of automotive development can be tested here for customer suitability. The virtual test drives will not only be completed by engineers from the BMW Group, but also regularly by external test subjects. “The new driving simulation center makes an enormous contribution to customer-centered product development. We can include direct customer feedback in the development at any time, ”says Michael Brachvogel. Virtual testing of all the subtleties: driving pleasure can be experienced virtually. At the BMW Group, driving simulation has played a key role in the development area of ​​driving dynamics for years. With the new driving simulation center, the virtual development process can be expanded and the number of prototype vehicles and the duration of the development process can be reduced. In the driving simulator, tires or entire axles can be exchanged within seconds and test routes around the world can be selected at the push of a button. Even the transition from summer to winter is seamless. All influencing factors can be represented in the simulation with a high level of fidelity. “Both in the early development phase and in the validation phase, all of the nuances that determine the typical BMW driving experience can be experienced in the state-of-the-art simulators,” says Thomas Lachner, driving simulation expert in vehicle dynamics development Requirements for the development of highly networked and intelligent vehicles in an ideal way. New display and operating concepts can be tested intensively in order to analyze the risk of distraction for the driver or the effect of the multimodal operating options. “With the help of detailed tests in the driving simulation, we can design our systems so that our customers receive the right information in the vehicle at the right time in the right place – and all of this in the simplest and most intuitive way possible, in every conceivable driving situation,” says Marion Mangold, Team leader design user interaction. Driving simulation offers great advantages, especially for the development of driver assistance systems and automation functions of the future. Both critical traffic situations and situations that rarely occur in real traffic can hardly be specifically tested on the road. In the simulator, they can be reproduced as often as required in a safe environment and with great detail. Individual aspects of the respective scenario can also be varied and combined with one another as required. In this way, the complex systems can be realistically tested under various conditions before the first road test. “We are preparing the introduction of our driver assistance functions with the utmost thoroughness. The driving simulation makes a significant contribution to the fact that we can develop the best possible and safest products for our customers, “says Manuela Witt, employee safety in use and effectiveness analysis. Thanks to a system concept with an innovative transport and docking system, all simulators can be used with different vehicle models on the same day if necessary be used. This gives the center a high level of flexibility for all development departments and enables maximum utilization. Complete immersion: The Seamless Simulator Experience. In order to offer the test subjects an even more realistic simulation experience and thus achieve more valid results, the driving simulation experts of the BMW Group have created the Seamless Simulator Experience designed (seamless simulation experience). In selected studies, test subjects will in future take the route to the simulator with VR glasses. So you are e.g. B. in a virtual BMW or MINI dealership. The vehicle is waiting for the test drive in the parking lot in front of the virtual trading facility. While the test person walks through the virtual space, he moves towards the driving simulator in the driving simulation center. The VR glasses are only removed immediately in front of the simulator and the test subject enters the simulator. “With the Seamless Simulator Experience, we achieve a very high level of immersion. This means that the study participants can immerse themselves much more deeply in the driving situation, which in turn gives us very valid and reliable results for optimizing our customer functions, “says Martin Peller, project manager of the driving simulation center. High-tech on an impressive scale: High Fidelity and High Dynamic Simulator . The high fidelity (= high fidelity) and the high dynamic (= high dynamic) simulator are the optical and technological highlights of the new driving simulation center. They create test conditions that previously could only be experienced with real test vehicles on the road. With the targeted optimization of innovative customer functions, testing in the laboratory also offers the advantage that selected driving situations can be reproduced as often as required. This significantly increases the informative value of the evaluated test results. In addition, test scenarios can be run through in the driving simulator, which rarely occur in real traffic situations and under unusual circumstances or which would be associated with hazards and therefore cannot be brought about for testing purposes in real traffic situations. In return, findings from test drives on the road can be checked and validated by a realistic simulation in the laboratory. The High Fidelity Simulator: Development focus: Customer functions in demanding, e.g. B. inner-city driving situations. Simultaneous longitudinal, lateral and turning movements possible. Acceleration up to 0.65 g (approximate acceleration of a BMW M3 sedan: 4.2 seconds from 0-100 km / h). [353 kW / 480 PS , Combined fuel consumption: 10.8 l / 100 km; Combined CO2 emissions: 248 g / km. *] Almost 400 m² movement area. More than 10 meters system height. Around 83 tonnes of moving mass. Required electrical peak output: up to 6.5 MW. The real driving situation is particularly detailed in the High Fidelity Simulator Pictured: Braking and accelerating in curves, driving in roundabouts or the quick sequence of several turning maneuvers can be reproduced with high precision on the almost 400 square meter movement field of this system. For the first time, complex urban traffic situations, which pose a particularly diverse range of challenges for automated driving systems, can be represented under laboratory conditions for the first time. The High Dynamic Simulator: Development focus: Customer functions in highly dynamic driving situations. Highly dynamic longitudinal and lateral acceleration of up to 1.0 g (acceleration as in the Formula E BMW iFE.20: just under 2.8 seconds from 0 to 100 km / h) .21 Meter slide length. Around 23 tons of moving mass. More than 9 meters system height. Required electrical peak power: up to 3 MW. With the new High Dynamic Simulator, longitudinal and lateral accelerations of up to 1.0 g can be generated. When testing new systems and functions, it is used to display highly dynamic evasive maneuvers, emergency braking and intensive acceleration processes. The longitudinal and lateral movements of both simulators are implemented by a sophisticated system of wheels and rails that reacts to driver inputs such as steering movements with practically no delay. In the simulator, you can experience the subtleties that make driving a pleasure in a BMW. This is achieved through the use of linear electric motors that have no moving parts. These electric motors move across a series of magnets with rapidly alternating poles to generate the required forces. Similar technology is used in high-speed trains with magnetic levitation technology. So-called super capacitors provide the required peak power for the movement system in fractions of a second. The movement system can in turn feed energy into the supercapacitors via recuperation (braking energy recovery). The tests take place in a driving simulator platform designed as a dome. There the systems to be tested are installed in a permanently mounted vehicle model. The dome is mounted on an electromechanical hexapod system and can be moved longitudinally as well as transversely via an additional electric drive. In the dome, the vehicle model stands on a turntable to enable additional rotary movements. In order to give the driver a realistic picture of the simulated traffic situation, the surroundings are projected in 360 degrees. A precise synchronization of the projected representations of the traffic situation with the movements of the vehicle model ensures a very realistic perception of the simulated driving situation, in which the visual impressions and the longitudinal, transverse and vertical accelerations acting on the test person merge into a dynamic, almost perfect overall impression. The virtual test drive scenario is completed by a noise simulation that is also precisely tailored to the simulated situation. The test subjects enter the vehicle in the cathedral via a gangway, comparable to access to an airplane. The finalization of a major project in challenging times. Construction of the world’s most modern system for simulating real driving situations began in mid-August 2018 on the grounds of the FIZ research and innovation center in northern Munich. Despite the massive global restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the building was completed in May 2020 according to the original plan. Since then, the installation of the simulators has been in full swing.BMW Group has several decades of expertise in the field of driving simulation. Modern driving simulators have become an indispensable instrument, especially for the development and testing of driver assistance systems as well as display and operating concepts. They make it possible to extensively test the functionality and practicality of new systems at a very early stage of development. The driving simulator serves as a link between the function tests for individual hardware and software components and the test drive with complete systems on the road. The BMW Group has many years of experience in the use of such systems. As early as the early 1990s, the development of BMW automobiles was supported by the use of static driving simulators. In order to be able to experience what is happening on the road in even more detail, the company has also been operating a dynamic driving simulator since 2006. In order to meet the increasing demands on capacities, another dynamic driving simulator was set up in the BMW Group Research and Technology House in Garching in 2016. More information on the topics of #NEXTGen 2020.

* The information on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions is determined in accordance with the prescribed measuring method VO (EU) 2007/715 in the currently applicable version. The information relates to a vehicle with basic equipment in Germany, the ranges take into account differences in the selected wheel and Tire size and the optional special equipment and can change during configuration. The information is determined on the basis of the new WLTP test cycle and calculated back to the NEDC for comparability. For these vehicles, other values ​​than those given here may apply to the assessment of taxes and other vehicle-related charges that are (also) based on CO2 emissions. Guide to fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and electricity consumption in new passenger vehicles’, which is available at all sales outlets at Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH (DAT), Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, 73760 Ostfildern-Scharnhausen, and is available free of charge at


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