BMW Driving Simulation Centre - The new benchmark for the automotive industry .

BMW Driving Simulation Centre - The new benchmark for the automotive industry .

11.11.2020: BMW #NEXTGen 2020 When the BMW Group was planning its all-new Driving Simulation Centre, the technology the company decided to use included supercapacitors, direct drive with linear motors and 360-degree projectors. At the same time, the entire pla


BMW #NEXTGen 2020




When the BMW Group was planning its all-new Driving Simulation Centre, the technology the company decided to use included supercapacitors, direct drive with linear motors and 360-degree projectors. At the same time, the entire planning process was made customer-centric. The outcome is a Driving Simulation Centre that sets new standards.



“With 14 simulators on a site measuring 11,400 m² in total, our new Driving Simulation Centre in Munich is the most advanced and diversified facility in the automotive industry,” says Frank Weber, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development. “Here, simulators with a wide range of motion systems are being built – all the way up to highly dynamic units that use direct drive with linear motors to recreate a realistic BMW driving experience. This takes us to a new level of virtual development.”



Building work in Munich began in 2018 and the new Driving Simulation Centre will be put into operation gradually. Here, the BMW Group is turning the most progressive concept in the automotive industry into reality. The company is creating every opportunity for its vehicle research and development engineers to simulate and test the product requirements of the future under realistic conditions.




Optimum simulation tools for every stage of development.


The new Driving Simulation Centre will provide the ideal simulation tool for every area and every phase of the vehicle development process. At the same time it will take customer involvement in the development process to a whole new level. “We can perform test drives for studies with up to 100 test persons per day,” says Michael Brachvogel, Head of BMW Group Research, Interiors, User Interaction, User Experience and Driving Simulation, who involves not only BMW Group engineers but also external test persons in the virtual test drives.



“The new Driving Simulation Centre makes an enormous contribution to our customer-centric product development. We can integrate direct customer feedback into the development process at any given moment.”





Virtual experience of every last detail.



For years now, driving simulation has played a key role in the driving dynamics segment of the development function at the BMW Group. The new Driving Simulation Centre will enable the virtual development process to be further expanded, thereby reducing the number of prototypes that need to be built as well as the duration of the development cycle. “Both in the early phase of development and at the validation stage, every nuance that goes to make up that signature BMW driving feeling can be sampled in the state-of-the-art simulators,” says Thomas Lachner, a driving simulation expert with the driving dynamics development team.



The Driving Simulation Centre is the perfect response to the ever-increasing requirements facing the development of intelligent, highly connected vehicles. New display and control concepts can be subjected to intensive tests, for example to analyse the risk of driver distraction or the effectiveness of the multi-modal controls. “With the aid of extensive tests in the driving simulator we can design our systems in such a way that our customers in their vehicles obtain the right information at the right time and in the right place – all in the most intuitive way possible and in every conceivable driving situation,” says Marion Mangold, team lead User Interaction Concept.




Traffic scenarios that involve risk or occur only rarely are almost impossible to test on the road. So driving simulation offers major advantages, in particular for the development of driver assistance systems and functionalities that will in future be automated.




In the simulator, these kinds of situations can be replicated safely and in great detail as often as required. “Our preparations for the introduction of our driver assistance functions are extremely thorough. Driving simulation is a major factor in ensuring that we can develop the best and safest products for our customers,” says Manuela Witt, expert for Safety-in-Use and Effectiveness Analysis.






Total immersion in seamless simulation.



The Seamless Simulator Experience was conceived by the BMW Group’s simulation experts with the aim of immersing test persons much more deeply in virtual driving situations. For example, in selected studies test persons wearing a VR headset will in future make their way from a virtual BMW or MINI dealership to the vehicle waiting outside for a test drive. They only remove the headset immediately before entering the simulator.



This leads to a very high level of immersion. “This way we get very valid and robust results for the optimisation of our user functions,” says Martin Peller, overall project manager of the new Driving Simulation Centre.





High-end simulators use direct drive with linear motors for a realistic BMW driving experience.



In the high-fidelity simulator, driving scenarios are reconstructed in great detail and with high precision. This means that, for the first time, complex urban driving situations – which present a particularly wide range of challenges for automated driving systems – can now be replicated under laboratory conditions.



In this simulator’s almost 400-square-metre motion area, longitudinal, transverse and rotational movements of a vehicle can be represented simultaneously. The simulator is capable of putting a total mass of 83 metric tons through maximum acceleration of 0.65 g. For its part, the High Dynamic Simulator – the second highlight of the new Driving Simulation Centre with a 21-metre sled and a moving mass of 23 metric tons – can generate longitudinal and lateral acceleration of up to 1.0 g. It permits the replication of highly dynamic evasive action, emergency braking and hard acceleration.



These two high-end simulators move on a sophisticated system of wheels and rails, which reacts virtually instantaneously to driver inputs such as steering commands. Acceleration is provided by linear electric motors with no moving parts. These hover above a series of magnets, using much the same technology as maglev trains. Supercapacitors deliver the peak power required by the motion system in fractions of a second, while regenerative braking is used to resupply them with energy.




Matthias Schepke- photos BMW


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11.11.2020 / MaP

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