Heading into new dimensions.
Mercedes-Benz operates the most advanced
driving simulator in the automotive industry.
Virtual test drive in the Mercedes-Benz driving simulator.
As a pioneer in the field of safety, Mercedes-Benz has played a leading role in the use of simulators. The first driving simulator, an in-house development, was brought into commission at the Daimler-Benz research centre in Berlin as early as 1985. Since October 2010, Mercedes-Benz has been operating its new driving simulator at the Technology Center in Sindelfingen. With its 360-degree screen, fast electric power system and a twelve-metre-long rail for transverse movements, the dynamic simulator is the most advanced in the automotive industry. The vehicle controls are linked to the computerised control system of the driving simulator by data lines.
When the test driver turns the steering wheel, accelerates or operates the brakes, these reactions are registered by the computer control system and have the same effects as in real traffic situations. The scenery on the screen changes constantly, and the moving cell simulates the vehicle's attitude on the road, for example when braking or body roll during fast cornering.
The computer calculates the driving behaviour of the car more than 1000 times per second, issuing the relevant commands to the electrics.
It is able to move the cell transversely by up to twelve metres at a maximum speed of ten metres per second (36 km/h), so that for example double lane changes can also be simulated.
An important part of the development programme.
The facility is not able or intended to replace real test drives completely, but the simulator makes it possible to test the systems and components of current and future Mercedes-Benz models in all development phases. "With the new simulator, we are able to reproduce highly dynamic driving manoeuvres such as lane-changing even more realistically and to research the behaviour of the driver and the vehicle in road traffic in even greater depth", explains Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Head of Development, Mercedes-Benz Cars.
Part of the energy required to operate the simulator is obtained by means of energy recuperation during braking and fed into the power network of the Sindelfingen plant. Consumption is therefore considerably reduced – another plus point for Mercedes-Benz.