A new driving simulator has been inaugurated at Pirelli’s research and development hub in Milan, Italy. The purchase will enable the tire manufacturer to reduce the development time of its products as well as the number of physical prototypes needed.
To be precise, Pirelli claims that it will be able to achieve a 30% reduction in the average development time for new tires, both for the road and motorsport, thanks to the capability to assess virtual prototypes quicker.
Furthermore, performance parameters can be modeled and remodeled quickly, enabling a rapid exchange of digital information between Pirelli and car manufacturer. A virtual model of any car – either supplied by the vehicle manufacturer or produced internally – can be quickly programmed into the system, while joint design and development work can also be carried out on the vehicle maker’s own simulator.
Italian company VI-grade supplied the system, which consists of a wraparound 210° panoramic screen that is 7.5m (25ft) in diameter, and a static car. This car is equipped with various technologies to reproduce the sensations that a driver would feel in a real vehicle – through the seat, steering wheel, seatbelts and different shaker systems, which replicate the movements of the suspension and engine.
Results from analysis carried out on the simulator can be integrated with data obtained by a new dynamic simulator that will be installed at Politecnico di Milano, where Pirelli regularly carries out some of its testing and development work.