Hanover, Germany – Continental is investing in a “state-of-the-art” dynamic driving simulator in order to enhance the efficiency of its tire development process for the OE segment.
Delta 3, developed by Ansible Motion, will go into operation in mid-2022 at Conti’s largest European tire test centre the Contidrom in Wietze, near Hanover, the German group announced 7 April.
According to Conti, the driver-in-the-loop simulator (DIL) calculates “exact driving dynamics parameters of the tires and those of the respective test vehicle.”
Due to its high mobility, the simulator can provide test drivers with subjective driving impressions, “just like tire tests on the test track.”
The new equipment will enable Conti to shift ‘decisive development steps and the associated test arrangements’ to the virtual world, saving time, costs and resources in the real world.
Enabled to process specific vehicle data as well as Continental's rubber compound, tire architecture and tread design information, the simulator can check “crucial parameters” and thereby reduce logistical efforts of physical tests "significantly".
The investment in the simulator is part of Conti’s environmental commitment to reduce emissions and will contribute to the group’s sustainability efforts by reducing the number of tests.
“If our test drivers sit in the simulator cockpit in the future and less at the wheel of a vehicle, around 100,000 kilometers fewer will be completed each year on real roads or test tracks," explained Dr Holger Lange, head of passenger tire development for Continental's OE business.
The company can also save around 10,000 test tires per year as a result of the new equipment, he added.
Until now, the final tuning of tires to real-life application scenarios always required the construction of a large number of test tires, according to Conti.
The aim, Conti said, is to have to build “significantly fewer” such prototypes in the future, helped by the simulator.
"Developing and testing premium tires is a highly complex, time-intensive process. By using the new dynamic driving simulator, we will make this development process even more efficient in the future," said Dr Boris Mergell, head of R&D, Tires business area.