Issue: Apr 2015


MTS Systems and McLaren Applied Technologies Join Forces to Commercialize Vehicle Dynamics Simulator



by Jon Knox

MTS Systems Corporation (Nasdaq: MTSC), a leading global supplier of high-performance test systems and position sensors, today announced that it has finalized an agreement with McLaren Applied Technologies (MAT) to pursue commercialization of a next-generation Vehicle Dynamics Simulator (VDS). Per the agreement, this state-of-the-art simulation technology will be manufactured by MTS and made available for purchase to automotive OEMs, Motorsports Teams and Tier One suppliers worldwide.

 

The MTS-McLaren VDS integrates a dynamic motion simulation platform and sophisticated sensory cueing systems to accurately replicate the experience of driving a vehicle while still in the early stages of development. The VDS features a highly adaptable vehicle environment with real-time computing capabilities, allowing for rapid integration of vehicle models, terrain models and physical test hardware. These capabilities serve to accelerate and streamline vehicle development processes by helping engineers resolve handling issues and analyze the impact of design changes early on, avoiding the need for expensive, time-consuming rework on physical prototypes during test track validation.

 

According to Professor Mark Gillan, Director of MTS' Motorsports Technology Group, the MTS-McLaren VDS offers unique advantages over conventional driving simulators. "The system's compact, modular, portable design and low energy requirements make it suitable for office, laboratory or test track deployment, providing a common point of reference for groups across the design and development continuum," he explained. "Additionally, the system can be easily enhanced to accommodate advanced mechanical Hardware-in-the-Loop (mHIL) technology, which enables the potential real-time integration of difficult-to-model physical hardware, such as tires, dampers, hybrid powertrains and steering systems, directly into the simulation. This adds significant value to the whole vehicle development process, enabling designers and developers to dramatically reduce both lead times and cost while improving correlation between the laboratory results and the test track."

 

"By combining McLaren's vehicle modelling expertise and simulator technology with MTS Systems' experience in mechanical testing solutions, we hope to revolutionize mainstream car development on a global scale," stated Geoff McGrath, Vice President of McLaren Applied Technologies. "The simulators and associated technologies developed by MAT and MTS Systems deliver unique advantages because they are built on the 'driver in the loop' model. The driver is immersed into a complex simulation of a car, which enables accurate, human feedback to the vehicle engineering team. Car set-up can then be changed, and further tests conducted immediately."

 

"This is another great example of how we can leverage our Motorsports Technology relationships to bring the most advanced new product development technologies to the global automotive market," said Dr. Jeffrey Graves, MTS President and Chief Executive Officer. "These advancements will help OEMs in reducing cycle time and improving the performance of new automobiles, ultimately bringing higher performing, lower emissions, and more fuel-efficient vehicle designs to the global market quicker than ever before."

 

About MTS Systems Corporation

 

MTS Systems Corporation's testing hardware, software and services solutions help customers accelerate and improve their design, development, and manufacturing processes and are used for determining the mechanical behavior of materials, products, and structures. MTS' high-performance position sensors provide controls for a variety of industrial and vehicular applications. MTS had 2,180 employees at September 27, 2014 and revenue of $564 million for the fiscal year ended September 27, 2014. Additional information on MTS can be found at www.mts.com.

 

About McLaren Applied Technologies

 

MAT harnesses the significant R&D, technical expertise and innovative spirit that has kept McLaren at the pinnacle of elite motorsport for five decades. It then applies this knowledge and approach to improve the performance of and inspire innovation in blue-chip companies.

 

MAT works in a range of industries, often totally unrelated to motorsport or automotive, including healthcare, pharmaceuticals, energy, transportation and consumer brands.

 



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