Pirelli unveils its new tire development simulator at the company’s research and development division in Milan.
The new simulator will reduce tire development time as well as the number of physical prototypes needed: further enhancing the close working relationship between the Italian firm and the world’s best-known car manufacturers.
The new simulator aims to accelerate development cycles and tire testing, reducing lead times and reinforcing the strong partnerships with leading car makers, thanks to a more agile interaction between Pirelli and these key producers of prestige and premium vehicles.
Compared to traditional development methods, the simulator allows a virtual model of any car – either supplied by the manufacturer or produced internally ¬– to be quickly programmed into the system, while joint design and development work can also be carried out on the manufacturer’s own simulator. This means that tire development lead times remain perfectly in step with those of the cars that they are destined for, with more and more new models coming out more frequently these days.
Furthermore, the use of a simulator to maximise the virtual development phase means that the number of actual physical prototypes made is reduced, following Pirelli’s sustainability ethos, with consequent benefits to the environment.
FORMULA 1 TECHNOLOGY TAKES TO THE ROAD
Advanced simulation has already been used for more than 10 years during the design and development of Formula 1 and other motorsport tires. Now this technology, paired with the rich experience of Pirelli’s research and development department, is also being utilised for road-going tires.
The simulator is produced by VI-grade and consists of a wrap-round 210-degree panoramic screen, 7.5 metres in diameter, which visually reproduces a wide range of different driving conditions,roads, and circuits. At the heart of the system is a static car equipped with various active technologies to exactly reproduce the sensations that any driver would feel in a real car: through the seat, steering wheel, seat belts, and different shaker systems, which precisely replicate the movements of the suspension and engine.