A Look at Alfa Romeo Racing’s New Formula One Simulator

By: AB Dynamics | Photos Courtesy of: AB Dynamics

Leading automotive test system supplier, AB Dynamics, will supply its advanced Vehicle Driving Simulator (aVDS) to Formula OneTM team Alfa Romeo Racing. The aVDS driver-in-the loop (DiL) simulator will be used for race car development and performance optimisation. Alfa Romeo racing engineers will work in partnership with AB Dynamics on motorsport specific developments for the aVDS.

The aVDS was selected by Alfa Romeo Racing after a period of structured and rigorous evaluation of the available systems. Minimising latency in both the visual environment and the motion system were key requirements for the company’s engineers.

AB Dynamics Alfa Romeo Formula One Simulator
Dr Adrian Simms, AB Dynamics business director (laboratory test systems)

“The aVDS offers incredibly low latency and consistency of response due to the unique motion platform concept. This makes it ideal for use in elite motorsport, where the smallest of changes can make the difference between success or failure,”  says Dr. Adrian Simms, AB Dynamics business director (laboratory test systems). “We’re delighted to supply Alfa Romeo Racing and look forward to helping bring success to the team.”

Precisely timed audio, visual, vestibular and haptic cues fully immerse the driver in the test environment. Class-leading levels of platform excursion also enhance the impression of speed and directional changes. “The simulator’s extremely low latency levels ensure the expected motion cues are delivered at precisely the correct time,”explains Dr. Simms. “This is essential for good results as perceived miscues reduce realism and are a common cause of simulator motion sickness.”

AB Dynamics Alfa Romeo Formula One Simulator
Alfa Romeo Racing driver Antonio Giovinazzi

“AB Dynamics and rFpro have pioneered state-of-the-art immersive software, hardware and driver-in-the-loop vehicle simulation technologies,” explains Frédéric Vasseur, team principal Alfa Romeo Racing and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG. “With the aVDS we have the ability to train our drivers and to use a powerful engineering tool for improving our performance on track.”

“The aVDS provides the realism and functionality that best suited the team’s needs,”  says Alfa Romeo Racing driver Antonio Giovinazzi, who helped test and evaluate a range of simulators. “When driving the aVDS, vehicle setup parameter changes were made that were smaller than those typically made on the real car. The aVDS was capable of accurately representing the effect that these changes would have on the real car. The tests effectively proved the capability of the aVDS to optimise vehicle performance prior to on track testing.” 

AB Dynamics Alfa Romeo Formula One Simulator
On-track performance will be optimised through the advanced Vehicle Driving Simulator

Ian Wright, head of vehicle science at Alfa Romeo Racing, concludes: “Following our comprehensive evaluation of all available systems we are convinced that the aVDS from AB Dynamics is the best available driving simulator. The high performance level of this system on paper equated to a unique capability when used for vehicle development and it will provide the drivers and race engineers at Alfa Romeo Racing with a vital improvement in the vehicle performance development toolset. We look forward to working in partnership with AB Dynamics.”

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