Pirelli’s new tire simulator, recently introduced at the company’s research and development division in Milan, will reduce development time as well as the number of physical prototypes needed to create a finished product, the company says.
The new simulator aims to accelerate development cycles and testing, which will reduce lead times and lead to faster development processes between Pirelli and key producers of prestige and premium vehicles, Pirelli says.
The simulator is produced by VI-grade and consists of a 210-degree panoramic screen, 24.6 feet 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 accurately reproduce the sensations that any driver would feel in a real car, including the seat, steering wheel, seat belts and different shaker systems, which precisely replicate the movements of the suspension and engine.
Because of this technology, Pirelli has achieved a 30% reduction in average development time for new tires, both for the road and motorsports, thanks to the faster assessment of virtual prototypes produced for different car models, the company says. The new simulator makes it possible for different development parameters to be remodeled rapidly, leading to a faster exchange of digital information between Pirelli and car manufacturers.
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 design and development work can also be carried out on the manufacturer’s own simulator. This means that tire development lead times remain in step with those of the cars that they are designed for, which is an important factor as new vehicle models are coming out more frequently in recent years, according to Pirelli.
The use of a simulator to maximize the virtual development phase means that the number of physical prototypes used is reduced, which supports Pirelli’s sustainability policy by minimizing the resulting impact on the environment.