German researchers take motorcycle simulator

| Information and Communication Technology

Motorcycle riding simulator
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Driver-in-th-loop simulation technology helps researchers in Würzburg understand motorcycle rider human-machine interfaces.

The Würzburg Institute for Traffic Sciences (WIVW) has developed an advanced motorcycle riding simulator, relying on VI-grade technology. The development of this dynamic motorcycle riding simulator was part of the ZIM funded project DESMORI, supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. In particular, the simulator is taking advantage of the real-time VI-BikeRealTime motorcycle simulation software from VI-grade and, apart from HMI-design, it will be used for rider training as well as research on rider behaviour in a broader sense eg hazard perception or implementation of autonomous brake assist technology.

“The first motivation to develop an advanced motorcycle riding simulator at WIVW was the implementation in the human factors research and development process” said Sebastian Will, Project manager focusing on powered two-wheeler research, WIVW. “The simulator as a research tool allows us to assess human-machine interfaces for powered two wheelers in a safe and controlled environment. This extends WIVW’s long-standing human factors experience from the automotive to the motorcycle sector.”

“Generally, driving simulation in human factors research is a powerful tool for investigating relevant research questions early in the development process” added Will. “The safe and fully controllable environment combined with an adaptable mockup in terms of user interface, control units, etc. is a perfect framework for human factors research. This methodology has already been well-established in the automotive sector for decades. Recent developments in the motorcycle area (such as board computers, electronic ride mode, suspension adjustment and Bluetooth connection) call for new display and control units: by constructing the DESMORI dynamic motorcycle simulator, WIVW provides the best conditions to deal with these forthcoming research questions.”

“In order to draw appropriate conclusions from simulator studies, the riders will find conditions in the laboratory that support them in showing naturalistic behaviour: therefore, a simulator needs to meet the riders’ expectations in terms of riding dynamics” concluded Will. “WIVW has chosen VI-BikeRealTime 2016 with a Co-simulation with Matlab/Simulink to solve this. The VI-grade software made it easy to de-couple the VI-rider model from the simulated motorcycle in order to feed the model with the real riders’ input, whereas the Matlab/Simulink co-simulation offered variability regarding additional controller implementation (e.g. stabilisation systems, input determination and motion cueing).”

“We are extremely happy to report this activity at WIVW, because it clearly shows the versatility of our software as well as our competence as a team in supporting the development of real-world simulators, not only for the automotive industry”, said Juergen Fett, Managing Director, VI-grade. “We are looking forward to further supporting WIVW and their partners in their exciting and challenging activity.”

WIVW will present a technical paper related to their advanced motorcycle riding simulator at the 2017 International VI-grade Users Conference, to be held on May 10th – 11th 2017 in Turin, Italy.

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