As one of the world’s leading competitions for creating concept vehicles for future mobility, the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge (EcoCAR) is a four-year scheme managed by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), a multidisciplinary science and engineering research centre based in Chicago.
The competition, which is running from 2018-2022, involves 12 university teams from across North America. The students have been tasked with applying advanced propulsion systems and connected autonomous vehicle (CAV) technology to develop a 2019 Chevrolet Blazer specifically for the car sharing market, improving the vehicle’s energy efficiency without compromising safety or consumer appeal.
With the traditional methods of CAV validation involving physical testing on public roads proving increasingly costly and time-consuming, ANL turned to HORIBA MIRA for a more cost-effective and efficient solution for testing the competition’s concept vehicles.
Cue DigiCAV, the novel multi-tier in-the-Loop simulation platform, uniquely designed by HORIBA MIRA to accelerate the development of CAVs. The revolutionary solution consists of Model, Software, Hardware and Vehicle-in-the-Loop (MiL, Sil, Hil, ViL) co-simulation, enabling CAV components to be tested in both physical real-world driving scenarios and replicated in a ‘digital twin’ simulation format.
The result is a seamless combination of simulation and mixed-reality testing – making the complex process of testing, data capture and adapting emerging CAV technologies much simpler and more cost-effective.
Having begun trialling DigiCAV on automated vehicles last summer, ANL were already incredibly impressed with the platform’s Vehicle-in-the-Loop test capability which would help them to evaluate the student’s vehicles in the upcoming competition.
Testament to its cutting-edge capabilities, most recently DigiCAV’s virtual functionality helped ANL power ahead with EcoCAR despite global coronavirus restrictions putting a halt on physical testing. This is because the platform can interface remotely with a model of the target vehicle, instead of the real one. As a result, HORIBA MIRA together with ANL were able to successfully continue development of the test capability required for the competition, positively contributing to its progression.