Mahindra Racing’s bespoke Formula E simulator has the ECU and controls of an actual Formula E racing car. The package comes with Panthera simulator software that allows Mahindra’s existing vehicle model, which is also used for lap time simulation, to be integrated and used as a real-time driver-in-the-loop (DIL) simulation model. The team has also been provided with access to a full library of Formula E street circuits.
Mahindra Racing’s engineers use the simulator to prepare for upcoming races, finding how to optimise energy management by testing various settings, strategies and race scenarios. Having a driver-in-the-loop is essential to the realism of these tests. Between seasons, Mahindra Racing’s engineers use the simulator to assist with development of software managing the electric powertrain.
Cruden’s simulator also gives a critical competitive advantage to Formula E drivers. One of the unique challenges of driving a Formula E car is the complexity of the controls needed to alter the characteristics of the electric powertrain while the car is on the move. During a race, the driver has to monitor and adjust the car’s energy consumption, energy regeneration, battery temperature and optimum engine speed for gear-shifts. This is all done with the steering wheel which has an integrated dashboard display and 21 rotary controls, paddles and buttons. The steering wheel is connected to the ECU which is integrated with the simulator as hardware-in-the-loop (HIL).
Seat-time will also help drivers learn or become re-acquainted with track layouts. Cruden produces accurate reproductions of all the tracks visited by the Formula E Championship which are temporary street-based circuits in city centres, unavailable for real-world testing.
Read full Mahindra Racing press release.