Honda Invests in Revolutionary Driving Simulator for Future R&D Activities

December 4, 2017, E.U.


December 4, 2017 - Honda will become the world’s first car manufacturer to adopt new state-of-the-art driving simulator technology, based on a revolutionary architecture called DiM250 (Driver-in-Motion).

Honda will become the world’s first car manufacturer to adopt new state-of-the-art driving simulator technology, based on a revolutionary architecture called DiM250 (Driver-in-Motion).

Most driving simulators make use of motion technology derived from flight simulators, and typically use six actuators to deliver six ‘degrees of freedom.’ However, to accurately reproduce vehicle ride, handling and acceleration characteristics within a single simulator, VI-grade’s DiM250 system uses nine actuators to create additional ranges of motion. It is unique in the industry.

Yasunori Oku, Executive Vice President, Honda R&D Europe, said: “We expect to use DiM250 primarily for vehicle dynamics and ride applications, as well as using it as a crucial tool to develop and test our ADAS, HMI, powertrain and autonomous driving technologies earlier in the design process. The DiM250 technology will provide an ideal common development platform for our research and development activities, where all teams involved can work together in one single collaborative environment.”

The DiM250 system has been designed by simulator software developer VI-grade, and is engineered and manufactured by automatic controls specialist Saginomiya. Its electrically-driven nine-actuator platform is more advanced than conventional ‘hexapod’ designs, and the whole system moves by sliding on airpads, rather than using additional mechanical rails. The airpads counterbalance the high payloads and dynamic loads, and help to make the simulator extremely stiff, silent and reliable.

The integration of Software-in-loop (SIL) and Hardware-in-loop (HIL) applications within the simulator will enable designers and engineers to evaluate advancements in the vehicle development cycle before physical prototypes have even been built. It will also allow the simulator to more accurately imitate problem scenarios to test safety systems and controls.

Juergen Fett, Managing Director, VI-grade, said, “We are looking forward to a continuous and successful usage of our technology at Honda R&D, helping the company to develop even better cars in a shorter time, while providing us with precious feedback to further improve our driving simulation solutions.”

The new simulator will be installed at Honda R&D Europe’s technical centre in Offenbach, Germany, in the second half of 2018.

About Honda R&D Europe (Deutschland) GmbH

Honda R&D Europe, with locations in Germany, Italy and England, is an integral part of the Honda organization in Europe. As part of its independent organizational structure, Honda R&D Europe cooperates with Honda's distribution centers and production facilities for the automotive and motorcycles product lines in an equal partnership. The European Honda network unites a common goal: tailor-made products for the benefit of European customers. At Honda R&D Europe, predominantly European employees develop mobility concepts for the regional markets. Conception and design of new models as well as extensive driving tests on European roads produce products with independent appearance and advanced technology. The German division of Honda R&D Europe, located in Offenbach, researches and develop technologies for cars, motorcycles, and outboard motors on a worldwide basis.

About DiM (Driver-in-Motion)

The revolutionary driving simulation turnkey solutions from VI-grade provide automotive engineers with a complete set of innovative, integrated driving simulators for a new generation approach to system-level simulation, allowing companies to bridge the gap between virtual prototyping and testing. The dynamic configuration provides motion feedback to the driver thanks to an innovative nine-degrees-of-freedom moving platform with reduced overall dimensions and large travels. The machine architecture is called Driver in Motion (DiM) and its kinematics has been designed, for the first time in history of motion platforms, to implement in the best possible way the motion cueing technology that has been developed and tested by VI-grade. This family of simulators are based on a much more compact and much less expensive driving simulator architecture with respect to conventional simulators with similar workspace. Moreover, these solutions are fully scalable, meaning that it is possible to upgrade from static to dynamic simulator, reusing all components that have been already purchased. The driving simulation solutions from VI-grade are based on VI-DriveSim, the product which provides the core software environment for all driving simulation solutions from VI-grade. For further information, please visit

About Saginomiya

Saginomiya is the leading provider of automatic controls and test systems in Japan as and is very highly reputed throughout the world for the quality of its products. Saginomiya started developing, manufacturing and selling test systems in 1964, expanding in several business fields such as civil engineering and construction, industrial machinery, railway services, power generation, aviation and automotive. Saginomiya’s “Dynamic Servo” has been developed as the ideal test systems utilizing state-of-the-art core technologies such as electric and hydraulic hybrids as well as a next-generation simulator. Saginomiya is are highly committed to serve the needs of the most technically advanced customers in the global market. For further information, please visit

About VI-grade

VI-grade is the leading provider of best-in-class software products and services for advanced applications in the field of system level simulation. Together with Saginomiya, leading provider of automatic controls and test systems, and a network of selected partners, VI-grade also provides revolutionary turn-key solutions for static and dynamic driving simulation. Established in 2005, VI-grade delivers innovative solutions to streamline the development process from concept to sign-off in the transportation industry, mainly automotive, aerospace, motorcycle, motorsports and railways. With office locations in Germany, Italy, UK, Switzerland, Japan, China, and the USA, and a worldwide channel network of 20 trusted partners, VI-grade is a dynamic and growing company with a highly skilled technical team. For further information about VI-grade please visit

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