Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio — Goodyear and Michelin North America Inc. are installing driving simulators at their respective technical centres to help enhance their product development capabilities.
Goodyear has selected a pair of simulators from Vi-grade GmbH for its innovation centres in Luxembourg and Akron, the company disclosed recently, while Michelin is installing an Ansible Motion Driver-in-the-Loop (DIL) simulator at its North America R&D centre in Greenville, South Carolina.
Darmstadt, Germany-based Vi-grade recently delivered a Compact Simulator to Goodyear Luxembourg and will be installing a Dynamic Driving Simulator DiM250 (Driver-in-Motion) at the Akron technical centre in the coming months, Goodyear said.
The investment will allow Goodyear to work more collaboratively with vehicle makers on original equipment fitments, the tire maker said.
"This level of simulation sophistication will allow Goodyear to drive breakthroughs in future tire creation, leading to an enhanced customer and driver experience," Chris Helsel, Goodyear's SVP and chief technology officer, said.
The driving simulators will be used for virtual development and tuning of dynamic performances of tires, aided by the ability to simulate a range of driving conditions, Goodyear said.
The Compact Simulator provides all the main features of VI-grade Driving Simulators in a reduced space, Vi-grade said.
Goodyear did not disclose the scale of investment these purchases represent.
For Michelin, the addition of the DIL simulator from Ansible Motion Ltd. of Norwich, UK, will allow the company "to satisfy the needs of our customers for reliable vehicle models by providing robust and accurate tire models," Rajat Aggarwal, tire performance expert, said.
As a major tire manufacturer, Michelin said it saw an increasing need for human-in-the-loop simulation.
"Our customers rely on virtual vehicle models to gain efficiency, improve performance and reduce cost during the vehicle development process," Aggarwal said.
Michelin will leverage data generated through the simulator — such as a tire's thermal and transient state as well as forces and torques in both offline and online real-time simulation environments — through its "TameTire" tire model for tire design.
The Theta C simulator connects real people with detailed simulation environments, enabling virtual test driving and evaluation of tire-road-vehicle interactions in advance and in parallel with physical testing, Ansible Motion said.
Ansible Motion described the Theta C simulator as a compact, self-contained cube simulator, which incorporates technology designed to handle sophisticated vehicle and environmental physics models.
"We see Theta C as a fundamental building block for connecting real people with automotive simulation environments," said Kia Cammaerts, director of Ansible Motion, said.
Michelin did not disclose its investment in this technology.