Berlin. IAV GmbH is developing two systems for simulating hybrid and electric vehicles as part of a joint project funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. They aim to provide the means for ascertaining the practical drivability of later mass-produced vehicles as early as the design stage, i.e. before constructing the first prototypes. The innovative concept avoids subsequent changes to the powertrain that would incur high costs. The project's name: "InDriVE Simulator".
A vehicle with conventional combustion engine is modified in a way that largely gives it the later handling performance of a hybrid vehicle and allows it to be tested in road traffic. A computer converts driver input – such as pressure on the accelerator pedal – in real time, making the car behave in the same way as a prototype of the new model would. To do this, the engineers require no actual prototype but merely mathematical models of its behavior.
As a second simulation platform, an electric vehicle is configured to simulate a wide range of drive concepts. The computed model of any target vehicle can be uploaded to the simulator vehicle's real-time computer. The simulator vehicle then drives in the same way as the target vehicle, making it possible to examine its drivability under real-life conditions.
Both platforms afford the capability of comparing drive concepts, rating system compo-nents and developing optimum operating strategies at an early phase in the develop- ment process. In the aerospace industry, research aircraft equipped in a similar way have for many years been demonstrating that a concept of this type can make an important contribution to developing and improving products.
Set to run until September 30, 2011, the project is costing around four million euros. Funding is being provided by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the project management organization being TÜV Rhineland. In addition to IAV, Berlin Uni- versity of Technology (Institute for Engineering Design, Micro and Medical Technology) and Braunschweig University of Technology (Institute of Control Engineering as well the Institute for Electric Machines, Traction and Drives) are involved in developing both simu- lation platforms.