The BMW Group is planning a new driving simulation center in Munich Milbertshofen to simulate countless road traffic scenarios. The new center for driving simulations is scheduled to go into operation as early as 2020. According to BMW, it is the most modern system of its kind. Extremely powerful computers should be able to bring the road into the laboratory and simulate both the behavior of individual vehicles and complex traffic scenarios in a very realistic manner.
The key to high-performance software in the field of autonomous driving is countless simulated kilometers, during which the software can learn how to correctly deal with a wide variety of situations. One focus of the new driving simulation center is the simulation of highly dynamic evasive maneuvers with longitudinal and lateral accelerations of up to 1.0 g. There is also a high fidelity simulator with which even complex situations with several successive turning processes can be tested under laboratory conditions.
The systems to be tested are installed in the driving simulation center on a permanently mounted vehicle model, which in turn stands on a platform called a dome with a projection screen. The entire dome is mounted on an electromechanically controlled hexapod system and can not only be moved lengthways and crossways, but also rotated at the same time. Together with precise synchronization, the system is able to realistically simulate even very complex traffic events. A realistic noise simulation completes the test bench and allows realistic test drives in a controlled environment.
The test drives can be carried out by both internal and external drivers, which means that the functioning of the systems can be experienced and assessed from different perspectives. In this way, the new driving simulation center can realistically test new assistance systems long before the first few kilometers on the road.
BMW is investing around 100 million euros in the new driving simulation center. It is part of the FIZ Future master plan, which is intended to make the BMW Group fit for the challenges of the future. The plan envisages enlarging the research and innovation center in several steps by around 50 percent by 2050, thus creating even better conditions for research and development.