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The requirements of using vehicle simulation for the prediction of limit road handling of full vehicle models are increasing daily in the automotive industry. The need of including closed loop controllers in the system is fundamental, because more and more often the automatic control action takes over the drivers natural instinctive control, especially in very sudden unexpected events, such as instantaneous grip loss.

VI-Driver graphicVI-grade’s simulation technology supports the development of such integrated systems of increasing complexity: the vehicle plant is realized by means of a fast multibody symbolic simulator, featuring accurate suspensions, tires, aerodynamic and powertrain components; the road and the driveline profiles can be defined with all of their important characteristics, such as distributed unevenness, kerbs, bumps and potholes; an intelligent driver model is able to explore the vehicle limits by iterating several times on automatically determined road segments, changing the target line to be followed and its actuation strategy until the vehicle is able to stay on the road. The vehicle system can be equipped with all the required closed loop controllers and the target manoeuvres can be simulated in combination with existing and externally connectable controller models, using off and/or on-line simulation techniques also for Hardware-in-the-Loop testing.VI-grade graphic

VI-grade has profound experience in developing driver models and the result of more than 10 years of research and development activities is the VI-Driver product. VI-Driver, through advanced longitudinal and lateral controllers, is able to take care of all driver channels, to follow a given speed profile (either calculated from VI-grade static solver or coming from telemetry measurements) and to find the maximum performance of a vehicle through an iterative process on a given 3D path defined by the user. VI-Driver is able also to accurately drive the vehicle model smoothly on rough 3D roads.

Success stories

AUDI uses VI-Driver in conjunction with VI-CarRealTime to assess the influence of several different control systems on the vehicle dynamic behaviour. VI-Driver is used to drive vehicle model through different tests such as press manoeuvre and lap time simulation. For additional information please download the paper entitled “SIL-Simulation and Evaluation of a Car with a Rear Torque Vectoring System” presented at the 3rd VI-grade Users Conference.

BMW uses VI-Driver with all its vehicle models and it has recently implemented an environment in which VI-Driver became the only driver model used through all different disciplines such as handling, durability, control system design, hardware-in-the-loop and custom driving simulator. BMW relies on VI-Driver to drive its real-time MATLAB-based vehicle model: the model results are identical, even if they are coming from different modelling environments. For additional information please download the paper entitled “VI-Driver at BMW: One single Driver” presented at the 3rd VI-grade Users Conference.

Nissan Motorsport International, also known as NISMO, uses VI-Driver with a VI-SportsCar vehicle model including detailed components. The objective of NISMO is to maximize the vehicle performance using virtual vehicle, driver and track. The usage of VI-SportsCar dramatically increases the efficiency of the development process. VI-Driver allows to model a professional driver who is able to drive a GT car. For additional information please download the paper entitled “Vehicle Dynamics Simulation of a Racing Car by NISMO” presented at the 3rd VI-grade Users Conference.


VI-Driver has the ability to drive a virtual vehicle model through a number of different manoeuvres in order to allow users to accurately evaluate the dynamic behaviour of the car.

  • Open-loop manoeuvres (step steer, frequency sweep, …)

  • Closed loop manoeuvres (Steering pad, ISO lane change, …)

  • Combination of static and dynamic solver

  • Lap time simulation

  • Max performance evaluation

VI-Driver is available for many environments:

  • VI-CarRealTime

  • Adams/Car

  • MATLAB Simulink

  • Any other real-time package


Benefits of VI-Driver 

VI-Grade graphicThe usage of a detailed vehicle model is a pre-requisite to obtain accurate results, but it is not enough! A vehicle model needs an accurate physical driver model in order to ensure that simulations are performed as close as possible to test conditions on the test track. VI-Driver is the best driver model available on the market, proven in several different projects performed by major automotive OEMs and leading racing teams all around the world.

  • State-of-the-art longitudinal and lateral controller

  • Robust and precise driveline following algorithm

  • Advanced management of all driver channels (steering, throttle, clutch, brake and gear)

Another major advantage is that VI-Driver can be used throughout the entire tool chain from concept to detailed design for Software-in-the-Loop and Hardware-in-the-Loop development.