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In operation for ten years: the Mercedes-Benz driving simulator: Virtual journey into the future: simulated with the latest test tools

Mercedes-Benz has been systematically working towards digitisation in its development and testing for many years. But never before has simulation been as important as now, when it comes to conditionally automated driving, says Dr. Michael Hafner, Head of Automated Driving at Mercedes-Benz. "A major part of the testing and verification work for the DRIVE PILOT took place in the dynamic driving simulator." It is expected that from the second half of 2021 the S-Class will be able to drive in conditionally automated mode in situations where traffic density is high or in tailbacks on suitable motorway sections in Germany.

The future: on the road in the cockpit of future vehicles with digital smartglasses

The next stage in simulator technology is also being tested in the conceptual phase in Sindelfingen: together with their colleagues in the Virtual Reality Centre (VRC), the driving simulator experts at Mercedes-Benz have developed and designed a new XR driving simulator.

This makes the driving simulation centre a "digital vehicle workshop". The XR driving simulator is the ideal addition to conventional simulators based on the cockpit of a real vehicle. Especially in a very early development stage when there is yet no hardware, the vehicle can already be digitally experienced on the road, in real time, in the XR driving simulator.

The present: 10 years of the moving-base driving simulator in Sindelfingen In October 2010 Mercedes-Benz officially opened the moving-base driving simulator in the company's Technology Centre in Sindelfingen. With its 360° screen, fast electric power system and the twelve-metre long rail for transverse or longitudinal movements, depending on the test setup, the moving-base simulator at Mercedes-Benz is among the most capable in the entire automobile industry.

The real car in the virtual world is a randomly chosen vehicle cab in which the tester takes a seat in the simulator cell.

History: more than three decades of expertise in the field of driving simulation

The first driving simulator of the former Daimler-Benz AG was developed completely in-house, and went into operation in Berlin in 1985. There are a number of safety innovations whose development was given its first impulse by this driving simulator: For example, the engineers found that while most test subjects operate the brake pedal rapidly, they do not do it with enough force – thereby sacrificing valuable braking distance. This finding led to the development of Brake Assist (BAS), which recognises this and automatically makes the full braking force available.

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Dec 28, 2020 at 20:48

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