BMW builds highly sophisticated system for vehicle simulation

September 04, 2018 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
To thoroughly test the vehicles of tomorrow with their complex electronics, engineers are increasingly using virtual test drives in the simulator. Hundreds of variants of the vehicle in all possible driving situations are played through with immense effort in hardware and software - long before even a prototype of the car exists. In Munich, BMW is now building a huge facility just for such simulations.

With the new system, which is scheduled to go into operation in 2020, BMW intends to strengthen its development expertise in the field of autonomous driving. Using highly dynamic simulations of real driving situations, the engineers want to carry out virtual tests of future HMI concepts and displays as well as driver assistance and driving automation systems. A special highlight in the facility will be the "High Fidelity Simulator", in which longitudinal, transverse and rotational movements of a vehicle can be performed simultaneously and thus very realistically. For the first time, the situations of inner-city traffic, which are particularly demanding in the context of automated driving, can also be reproduced in a realistic manner.

The construction of the new driving simulation center is part of the FIZ Future master plan, with which BMW’s central development center is to grow in several stages by around 50 percent by 2050. The foundation stone for construction phase I was laid in autumn 2017. The driving simulator is intended to serve as a link between the functional tests for individual hardware and software components and the driving test with complete systems on the road.

At the heart of the new driving simulation centre are two new types of systems that are specially designed to meet the requirements of testing highly complex systems for automated driving. With the High Dynamic Simulator, longitudinal and lateral accelerations of up to 1.0 g can be generated. It is used to test new systems and functions to illustrate highly dynamic evasive manoeuvres, emergency braking and intensive acceleration processes.


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