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Jaguar Land Rover leads UK universities to develop virtual simulation tech

Tue, 11 Jun 2013 00:00:00 -0700

Jaguar Land Rover is to lead four UK universities in a £10m ($15.5m) government scheme to develop virtual simulation technologies and processes to help improve and accelerate the car design process.

The carmaker will be leading project teams from the universities of Cambridge, Loughborough, Leeds and Warwick in the Program for Simulation Innovation (PSI), developed to improve the potential of the UK virtual simulation industry. It is hoped that through its results design quality and capability can be improved through the simulation of sights, sounds and smells.

Reducing – and perhaps even eliminating – the need for physical prototypes is a key part of the PSI, helping to keep costs and environmental impact down.

Speaking at the program's launch at the University of Warwick, JLR engineering director Bob Joyce said, "While we already utilize a wide range of sophisticated virtual engineering tools and processes to design, engineer and test our new vehicles, we are keen to enhance the future capability of virtual simulation and tailor them for automotive product development.

"These projects will help us analyze increasingly complex cars at whole vehicle, system and component levels, as well as enhancing the high performance computers that industry will use in the future to mine increasing amounts of more complex data."

The first stage of the program will consist of five projects covering 80 per cent of the research, including an attempt to imitate an accurate driving and passenger experience in a completely digital environment, and development of visualization techniques and multi-sensory experience.

The five project titles are: Analysis of the vehicle as a complex system (Loughborough and Leeds); Multi-physics and multi-functional simulation (Loughborough); Driving simulation (Leeds); High performance computing and simulation knowledge mining and abstraction (Cambridge) and Visualization and virtual experience (Warwick).

JLR has a history in using virtual technology in designing its cars, opening its Virtual Reality Center at its Design and Engineering Center in Gaydon, UK. Ford is another carmaker to invest in such technology, developing its 3D CAVE – Computer Automated Virtual Environment – to examine digital models from multiple angles.

By Rufus Thompson