Real-time and Simulators

Accurate real-time simulation of vehicle ride and handling

Modelon’s VDL.RealTime, an extension of Modelon's Vehicle Dynamics Library  (VDL), offers real-time performance of accurate high-fidelity vehicle models. Using Dymola and VDL.RealTime allows engineers to develop complex and accurate models that can be run in real-time.

A key driver in the development of this solution is the need for more accurate prediction of chassis behavior and its impact on vehicle dynamics, especially to handle multi-body representations of suspensions.  This need started with motorsports and with the latest technology improvements has now migrated to the general automotive industry.

With VDL.RealTime, vehicle models with more than 150 degrees of freedom are deployed in driver-in-the-loop simulators. Suspensions are modeled in detail, including individual bushings and other deformable components. Correspondingly, accurate models of other subsystems containing multiple physical domains -- such as shock absorbers, brakes and steering -- can be executed in real-time.

The same high-fidelity vehicle models can be applied throughout the design and validation process, both for off-line and real-time applications. Using the same model ensures consistency and collaboration – delivering more accurate and reliable answers faster.


With accurate high-fidelity models:

  • You can evaluate more and earlier in the design process
  • Design iterations are quicker as changes can be evaluated on the fly without the intermediate model reduction or parameter identification steps
  • You avoid having to compromise between accuracy and performance.

With one model and one type of data:

  • You ensure consistency in your engineering work, significantly reducing maintenance efforts.

In the ultra-competitive world of motorsports, development time is almost as important as the speed at which a car navigates the track during a race.

Before design even starts, Dallara uses a real-time simulator to evaluate kinematics, steering geometry, aerodynamics, packaging, cooling, engine performance, monocoque stiffness and minor installation details.

Dymola and the Vehicle Dynamics Library were key drivers in developing the simulator. They enabled designers to quickly build models of every part of the racecar and share them among everyone involved in the development process, including vehicle dynamicists, aerodynamics engineers, designers, structural engineers and engine manufacturers.

Real-time simulation is being proven where the rubber meets the track: Dallara reports that its approach cut development time of the Nippon Super Formula car by more than half, and the physical car's performance and track feel are remarkably close to those of the virtual car developed on the simulator.

Modelon's Vehicle Dynamics Library is a key component of an integrated software solution for the Dallara Driving Simulator. Source: Dallara

Their decision was based on:

  • The performance and accuracy of the vehicle model
  • The open and flexible environment that allows for multi-domain simulation
  • The ability to deploy the models universally across their organization
  • Modelon’s engineering expertise and reputation as a world leader in real-time vehicle modeling 

  1. Andreasson, J., et al., Deployment of high-fidelity vehicle models for accurate real-time simulation, The First Japanese Modelica Conferences, May 23-24, 2016, Tokyo, Japan, pp 78-86
  2. Toso, A. and Moroni, A., Professional Driving Simulator to Design First-Time-Right Race Cars, SAE Technical Paper 2014-01-0099, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-0099.
  3. Toso, A. and Moroni, A., Professional Driving Simulator to Design First-Time-Right Race Cars, SAE Technical Paper 2014-01-0099, 2014, Presentation (pdf).
  4. Andreasson, J. et al., Real-Time Simulation of Detailed Vehicle Models using Multiple Cores, Request paper.
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Deployment of high-fidelity vehicle models for accurate real-time simulation

Relevant products

Vehicle Dynamics Library

Dymola with source code export