The rapidly increasing demands of today’s car buyers have placed a heavy burden on car manufacturers to constantly innovate. Building prototypes to test innovative car designs is a lengthy, not to mention expensive, process and one that companies keen to retain their competitive edge can ill afford. With contemporary simulation systems often falling short of R&D expectations, the eight-company-strong team of EUREKA project E! 1924 CARDS (Comprehensive Automobile Research and Development Simulator) sought to design a superior driving simulation system.
“The simulator allows manufacturers to perform virtual prototyping of their R&D innovations and test people’s perceptions of the new design,” explains Dr. Andras Kemeny, Manager of project leader Renault’s Technical Centre for Simulation.
Through a head-mounted display unit (HMD) that uses software originally developed for flight simulation, the user test drives the car ‘virtually’. “Using the head-mounted display, the virtual dashboard can be changed or modified very easily, almost in real time,” Kemeny explains. With the display system there is a sensor that monitors the position and rotations of the user’s head, so that the image inside the unit changes with the car’s simulated movement.
Nicola Vatthauer | alfa
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