CRUDEN ON THE CHANGING USE OF SIMULATORS IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY – Q&A
BY MATTHEW BEECHAM
The Dutch simulator expert, Cruden, has reacted to the automotive industry’s call for more open architecture and affordable simulator software options that do not restrict automotive companies from working with one simulator manufacturer’s hardware. It recently launched the Panthera Software Suite, making it available to users of any desktop, static or motion simulator and using almost any vehicle model. A surprise development has been the release of a free version of the software, Panthera Free. Matthew Beecham spoke to Maarten van Donselaar, CEO to find out why.
The growth of driving simulators within the automotive industry has created a new generation of engineers skilled in simulator integration and development. Today, OEMs are more demanding of the suppliers of simulators, simulator software and other components. They don’t necessarily accept a full, turnkey package: simulator technologies must work as stand-alone elements that slot into existing tool chains and can be easily integrated with other preferred third party hardware and software elements. At the core of the simulator package is the control software, the simulator engine that ties together all the elements – the motion, models, visuals and audio.
Simulator software is an ever-growing set of modules that allow automotive manufacturers to create the most realistic driver-in-the-loop simulation possible. In our case, the software contains controllers for motion platforms, steering, pedals, dashboard, audio and image generation etc. as well as a scripting engine to define and customise the simulation. It also incorporates traffic, ADAS and the functionality to interact with other external signals and sensors.
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