Η Volvo έθεσε σε λειτουργία έναν νέο προσομοιωτή, τον Vi-Grade chassis simulator όπως τον ονομάζει, ο οποίος την βοηθά στην ανάπτυξη των μελλοντικών της μοντέλων. Όπως αναφέρει η Σουηδική εταιρία, έγινε η τρίτη αυτοκινητοβιομηχανία του κόσμου, μετά την Ferrari και την Porsche, που αποκτά τέτοιο προσομοιωτή, με αυτόν να συμβάλει στην βελτίωση της δυναμικής συμπεριφοράς των μελλοντικών της μοντέλων.
Ο προσομοιωτής επιτρέπει στη Volvo να δοκιμάσει εικονικά τα μελλοντικά μοντέλα της σε διάφορες διαδρομές, όπως π.χ στη πίστα του Nurburgring, επιτρέποντας της να συντομεύσει τον χρόνο ανάπτυξης των νέων μοντέλων της. Το πρώτο μοντέλο που θα περάσει στη παραγωγή, με την ανάπτυξη του να γίνεται και στον νέο προσομοιωτή, είναι το S90.
Στις σχετικές ειδήσεις, ο CEO της Volvo, Hakan Samuelsson, δήλωσε πως η Volvo θα αναλάβει την ευθύνη όλων των ατυχημάτων που θα προκαλέσουν τα αυτόνομα αυτοκίνητά της. Σε αντίστοιχη δήλωση προχώρησαν τόσο η Google όσο και η Mercedes-Benz.
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VOLVO CARS USES THE WORLD’S MOST ADVANCED CHASSIS SIMULATOR TO DEVELOP THE NEXT GENERATION OF ITS CARS
Volvo Cars has become the first premium car maker to purchase the world’s most advanced Vi-Grade chassis simulator – the same equipment used by Ferrari and Porsche – to develop next generation Volvos.
The simulator offers exciting virtual environments including Germany’s renowned Nürburgring as well as test tracks at Volvo Cars’ own secret testing facility in Sweden. It allows Volvo Cars to conduct extremely early stage development work on high speed stability, balance and individual drive mode settings, leading to the development of cars that are more responsive, more rewarding and even more enjoyable to drive.
“We are making substantial investments in people, technology and facilities in order to redefine the Volvo driving experience. Our aim is to deliver full control, ease and dexterity at the wheel. We will improve drivability across the entire Volvo Cars range,” said Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Cars.
The Swedish car maker uses the simulator’s virtual environments to support early development work on high speed stability, balance and individual drive mode settings. The use of simulation means that settings can be rapidly tested combining the experiential judgment of a real driver and computer-aided objective data analysis.
The move heralds a new beginning for Volvo Cars in terms of driving experience, claims Dr Mertens. “We have made some critical investments both in terms of our R&D facilities and in our product components in recent times that are now beginning to pay dividends. Our completely new scalable product architecture (SPA), our modular powertrain program and the latest chassis components are the starting point.”
Freedom to innovate
The new simulator means more freedom to innovate in the concept development phase and shorter development time, according to Dr Mertens, enabling a more emotionally resonant driving experience.
“The beauty of the new simulator is that it provides us with the opportunity to physically experience the calculation models and evaluate them using human test drivers, rather than staring at graphs and numbers in a meeting room,” says Stefan Karlsson, Manager Vehicle Dynamics at Volvo Car Group. “This is further testament to our commitment to human centric development and a cornerstone of developing a driving experience that is truly Designed Around You.”
US urged to establish nationwide Federal guidelines for autonomous driving
The US risks losing its leading global position in the development of self-driving cars if it allows a patchwork of varying state laws and regulations to develop, according to Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars.
In a speech to be delivered Thursday at a high level seminar on self-driving cars organized by Volvo Cars and the Embassy of Sweden in Washington DC, Mr Samuelsson will say the US is currently the most progressive country in the world in autonomous driving (AD), but add this position could be eroded if a national framework for regulation and testing is not developed.
“The US risks losing its leading position due to the lack of Federal guidelines for the testing and certification of autonomous vehicles,” Mr Samuelsson will say. “Europe has suffered to some extent by having a patchwork of rules and regulations. It would be a shame if the US took a similar path to Europe in this crucial area.”
Mr Samuelsson will say the absence of national Federal oversight in the US runs the risk of slowing down the development and introduction of autonomous driving technologies by making it extremely difficult for car makers to test, develop and sell AD cars.
“The absence of one set of rules means car makers cannot conduct credible tests to develop cars that meet all the different guidelines of all 50 US states,” he will say. “If we are to ensure a smooth transition to autonomous mobility then together we must create the necessary framework that will support this.”
Mr Samuelsson will address a select audience at a seminar entitled “A Future with Self Driving Cars – Is it Safe?” at the House of Sweden in Washington DC, during which he will emphasize that the introduction of self-driving cars on the world’s roads will happen more quickly than many lawmakers anticipated.
He will urge regulators to work closely with car makers to solve controversial outstanding issues such as questions over legal liability in the event that a self-driving car is involved in a crash or hacked by a criminal third party.
Mr Samuelsson will clearly state Volvo’s position on both of these contentious issues.
He will say Volvo will accept full liability whenever one if its cars is in autonomous mode, making it one of the first car makers in the world to make such a promise.
He will add that Volvo regards the hacking of a car as a criminal offense.
“We are constantly evolving defensive software to counter the risks associated with hacking a car. We do not blame Apple, or Microsoft for computer viruses or hackers,” he will say.