Endangered: Test Tracks

It’s about that time to buy a car, but what are you looking for? Are you looking for mileage, safety, style, durability, model? What is the brand you will fall for?


The branding of a car is everything. An automobile company can focus its branding efforts on trying to improve and sustain the brand DNA – which is the quality or value a customer associated with a particular brand. For Daimler AG that would be durability. Customers trust that Daimler AG will consistently design a durable Mercedes-Benz so it is their top priority to do so. Unfortunately, it cost time and money to improve durability if they continue to run tests on the test track. However, with the arrival of digital twins and cutting-edge simulation technology, the age of test tracks may soon come to an end. Now Dimler focuses on using computer-aided engineering (CAE) as much as possible.  However, they wanted a solution that will be easy to use globally; that global tool was Simcenter 3D. Simcenter 3D  motion is used for CAE-based durability road loads calculations.  They run their calculations through this simulation first, then if they are of a high maturity than they will be built and tested. As a result, this reduces the number of prototypes. 


Simcenter 3D motion allows users to do most of the “messy” work towards the beginning of the development process. Also, Daimler is working on having digital twins of all its model and designs in order to digitally create the data that is missing to precisely match the new architecture. Although motion simulation is very useful in this case, measurement campaigns are still held on site to re-evaluate the collected digital data. In other words, it’s just an extra measure they take to crosscheck what they simulated using CAE.

So that means, test tracks may be not be approaching their final days after all. Their products, like others, require a final test for production release. That is because some properties simply cannot be tested in simulation. Like hitting speed bumps, potholes, or splashing through the mud! Therefore, we need the test tracks to provide an evaluation of the accuracy of Simcenter 3D motion simulation and account for misuse events. The moral is, even with the development of CAE,  test tracks are not endangered after all and are here to stay.

This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/simcenter/endangered-test-tracks/