Nardo proving grounds get a digital twin

Engineers in the automotive and racing world continue to create new ways to save both time and money in developing cars. By now, it's no longer a secret that racing teams, including those in Formula One, use simulators to train their drivers and test their car's performance with telemetry tools.

The majority of these F1 teams use British tech firm rFpro's software as their simulator. And now, the very same company is looking to accelerate the development of the next generation of electric vehicles by digitally recreating Porsche's Nardo test circuit.

Virtual track to serve as test bed for next-gen EVs image

The Nardo Technical Centre is one of the world's largest proving grounds, and it's a place where major automotive manufacturers assess vehicle dynamics during the R&D stage. Apart from its 12.5-kilometer long banked oval, the Nardo test track has a 6.3-km handling course that features a 1000-m straight and 16 corners with varying radius and speed.

Nardo Ring's renowned layout has a combination of crests, bumps, and kerbs that make it an ideal place to develop new chassis technologies. With the creation of the track in the virtual world, manufacturers could speed up their development and test the performance of new EV platforms before physically building them.

Virtual track to serve as test bed for next-gen EVs image

To ensure that the digital version is as close as it gets to the real thing, rFpro says they used phase-based laser scanning, making it possible to recreate the track with an accuracy of around 1mm.

The way an electrified powertrain interacts with the chassis is significantly different from that of a traditional engine. As a result, vehicle dynamic engineers want to accelerate their understanding of this change to prevent issues arising later in the development cycle” said Matt Daley, operations director at rFpro.