Sweden’s most advanced driving simulator comes to Gothenburg

Sweden’s most advanced driving simulator will be inaugurated in Gothenburg on May 18. The driving simulator will be used by Volvo Group to continue development of the world’s safest trucks, buses and construction equipment as well as to strengthen Gothenburg’s position as a world-leading automotive research center.
“In a world where regions compete to be the hub of development this comprises a concrete enhancement of our international competitive strength and that of Sweden in advanced automotive research. From an international perspective, the simulator constitutes a major competitive advantage and it is fantastic that we are getting it here in Gothenburg,” says Urban Wass, Head of Product and Road Safety in the Volvo Group.

Primarily, the Volvo Group utilizes driving simulators to study driver reactions in various critical situations, for example, to study how the truck and driver interact with each other. Increased knowledge enables truck safety systems to be designed according to driver behavior to a higher degree than at present.

Until now, Sweden’s most advanced driving simulator has been located in Linköping and owned by VTI, the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute. The new simulator, again managed by VTI, will be located in Gothenburg.

The Volvo Group played a key role in bringing the new simulator to Gothenburg, including providing specialist knowledge in formulating the requirements specification. We have argued the case that the Swedish automotive industry needs this simulator and that Volvo will utilize the simulator’s capacity with a range of development projects,” says Urban Wass. 

The key features of the new advanced simulator are primarily that it provides a true-to-life feel for both braking and large steering wheel movements. In the previous simulator both braking and steering wheel movements could be simulated but not concurrently, one had to choose one or the other. The new simulator creates a more realistic experience and increases opportunities for creating and studying situations in current and future traffic environments.

“The simulator provides us with the opportunity to study driver reactions to all imaginable events, and we can repeat the same chain of events multiple times to study variations in driver behavior. This is both safe and cost-effective as well as providing us with deeper knowledge that enables the development of optimal safety systems,” says Urban Wass.

For example, the simulator can be used in the development of braking and steering systems to make safer and more efficient vehicle concepts possible.

It can also be utilized to study how the vehicle best conveys various types of information and warnings to the driver. In the long-term, the simulator will be utilized to develop advanced vehicles that can communicate with other vehicles, road-users and transport environments.
“It is extremely improbable that more advanced safety development than this can be found anywhere else in the world,” says Urban Wass.

The driving simulator will be opened at Lindholmen in Gothenburg in the presence of, among others, Volvo’s CEO Leif Johansson and Sweden’s Minister for Infrastructure Catharina Elmsäter-Svärd.

May 18, 2011

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Reporters who want more information, please contact:
Urban Wass, Head of Product and Road Safety at Volvo Group, tel +46 (0) 73 902 86 61
Karin Wik, Press Contact, AB Volvo, tel +46 (0)703 214350