Vehicle Electrification and Hybridization, Shifting Real World Tests to the Virtual World.

When developing partially or fully electrified vehicles, engineers are faced with the challenge of perfectly synchronizing various vehicle components to deliver the best driving experience possible to the customer while keeping emissions at a minimum and pushing the driving range to a maximum. Many factors must be coordinated and considered that increase the number of test scenarios. Real-world tests on roads are not only essential cost drivers, but they can also only be carried out when a complete vehicle prototype is available.

IPG Automotive provides a simulated alternative; they say they have successfully joint projects with their partners and customers. For example, the company say that Real-world tests on the road can be shifted to the virtual world by using their CarMaker simulation software. The vehicle's real-time simulation and surroundings provide a flexible development and test environment. In a few seconds, ambient conditions for example can be adapted effortlessly in simulation.

This enables early statements on e.g. the fast charge duration when developing Li-ion batteries. Furthermore, by connecting CarMaker to cell models from Batemo, the company showed the impact of seasons and age and temperature of the electric battery on the charging speed using only virtual simulation. Cost and time efforts during development were thus significantly reduced.

In addition to component-based tests, virtual test driving and the integration on powertrain test benches enable tests to be carried out at the full vehicle level early on in development – without the need for physical prototypes.

Among other completed projects in 2021, the company demonstrated how they make RDE development more efficient by integrating CarMaker on test benches with Horiba. IPG connect the real and virtual world by integrating their simulation software CarMaker into engine test benches and chassis dynamometers. The virtual approach allows users to simulate driving cycles and transfer numerous RDE scenarios from the test drive to the virtual simulation environment with a mouse click. Furthermore, RDE scenarios can be modelled according to various development requirements by adapting driving style, route and traffic conditions. At the same time, in comparison to conventional tests on real-world roads, time and costs are significantly reduced. In addition, the virtualization on the test bench enables continuous operation for cycle and RDE drives, whereas the test bench environment facilitates the highest testing reproducibility in different driving scenarios.