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Driving Simulators from VI-grade play an essential role in race preparation for Formula E
Top three teams of all-electric vehicle competition are using VI-grade driving simulators
In the end, Jean-Eric Vergne won the championship for the second time in succession and also claimed the Team’s title for DS Techeetah – closely followed by vice-champion Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler and its successful customer sport team Envision Virgin Racing. All three winning teams are using a combination of VI-grade static and dynamic driving simulators in order to prepare for the races.
“The race preparation for this Formula E season has nearly 100% taken place on our dynamic driving simulator by VI-grade. It is a crucial tool for our engineers to experiment and to figure out the optimal energy balance before the race, since there is only limited time for it later on the track”, said Joachim Hausner, Coordination Driving Simulator at Audi Motorsport. “But the driving simulator is also essential for the follow-up work after the event in order to evaluate our performance in the race and to double-check some parameters.”
“Since all Formula E races are single-day events, teams do not have the time to change any vehicle settings on-site nor to test the car on the racetrack”, said Diego Minen, Chief Technical Officer, VI-grade. “This strict timetable forces the manufacturers to rely on driving simulation technologies like ours, in order to be fully competitive in the all-electric racing series. We are thrilled to acknowledge that the top 3 teams, and more generically 6 out of the first 10 teams in the just-finished 5th FoE championship are using our simulator technology and we are looking forward to further contributing to their successes.”
“Formula E represents a new challenge in the evolution of driving simulator technologies from several points of view” added Minen. “Due to high engine torque values at low speed and to special braking strategies for energy recovery, the way electric vehicles accelerate/decelerate is very different from a traditional formula car. This leads to a set of new challenges for our multi-cueing technology used to accurately represent the driver feeling, i.e. the combination of motion platform and body contact with active seat and belts. Moreover, since energy delivery is very carefully planned to exploit the batteries until the finish line, on-the-field track variations vs. the provided FIA track maps lead to the need of last-minute changes in the virtual graphic model. With our technology, we are able to address those requirements and can work in close collaboration with the racing teams obtaining extremely realistic results even in case of such late adjustments.”
Several years ago, motorsport activities have been the main drivers of the development and adoption of driving simulators and they keep on playing a very important role in the development of all technologies around simulators. Today, VI-grade is a key player in the driving simulators industry with more than 50 simulators installed worldwide at OEMs, Motorsport Teams, Tier1 suppliers and Engineering/R&D centers.
To learn more about VI-grade driving simulators and to request your own configuration, please visit www.vi-grade.com.
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