PITTSBURGH—As fully autonomous vehicles (AVs) edge closer to real-world deployment, operating safely becomes more critical than ever. Autonomous vehicles require rigorous testing in complex environments and under variable conditions. Physical testing would require billions of miles of driving or flying — a time-consuming, cost-prohibitive approach. Using simulation to virtually test AVs is the only viable option for validating systems safety and accelerating AV development, according to ANSYS, the developer of engineering simulation software. The company recently released ANSYS Autonomy, part of ANSYS 2019 R3, to enable engineers to do just that.
ANSYS Autonomy enables engineers to develop safer AVs through advanced closed-loop scenario simulation, automated driving and control software development, and functional safety analysis. It also includes sensor, camera, lidar, and radar simulation, the company said in a press release.
“In ANSYS 2019 R3, ANSYS Autonomy integrates ANSYS flagship products into a comprehensive virtual testing and development environment for AVs,” said Eric Bantegnie, vice president and general manager, systems business unit at ANSYS, in the release.
ANSYS 2019 R3 extends the ANSYS® SCADETM family of products with the launch of ANSYS SCADE Vision, which enables customers to evaluate the safety of AI-based perception software systems and reduce object detection defects in autonomous systems. ANSYS SCADE Vision, powered by Edge Case Research Hologram technology, is said to drastically reduce the cost of AV perception software testing, enhance safety, and drive high value from AV data.
With the new release, ANSYS SCADE Suite enhances important features required for developing the most advanced automotive systems and the embedded software that controls these systems for autonomous vehicles, the company said. ANSYS 2019 R3 includes improved AUTOSAR support in SCADE for ISO 26262 certified code generation and software component design.
The company said that ANSYS SPEOS now enables users to see optical simulation in a new light. While ANSYS SPEOS continues to extend optical simulation into ANSYS’ Multiphysics platform, SPEOS Live Preview helps designers accelerate their design innovation thanks to GPU acceleration. This is said to enable quick design iterations to improve design optimization and robustness. ANSYS 2019 R3 also includes the SPEOS Road Library for Sensors Simulation, a comprehensive retro-reflecting materials database.
“ANSYS SPEOS provides early insights into the optical performance of our designs,” said Hiroaki Yachi, chief, Toyota Customizing and Development, in the release. “It allows for fast iterations on multiple virtual prototypes to optimize the appearance and performance of vehicle lamps, earlier in the product design phase. With SPEOS Live Preview, powered by GPU technology, our engineers can run real-time optical simulations and explore alternative virtual prototypes — reducing costs and development times.”
In ANSYS 2019 R3, ANSYS electromagnetics suite includes new features for engineers tackling complex autonomous vehicle engineering challenges. ANSYS HFSS SBR+ now includes creeping wave physics, said to deliver greater accuracy for predicting radar cross section (RCS) of large targets with curvatures. This enables engineers to achieve a more precise RCS reading of objects including shadow regions, ANSYS said.
Accelerated Doppler Processing simulation technology has been added to ANSYS HFSS SBR+. ANSYS said it revolutionizes the way automotive companies validate the safety and performance of radar systems in autonomous vehicles, empowering engineers to test vastly more traffic scenarios than would ever be possible with physical road tests.
ANSYS has also introduced ANSYS Minerva, a knowledge management product for critical simulation expertise. Powered by Aras, ANSYS Minerva is reported to improve productivity and maximize business value from existing engineering technology investments. It does so by providing model-based system engineering, simulation process and data management, lifecycle traceability, process integration, design optimization, and simulation-driven data science capabilities. It is critical for managing the volume of simulation data required for testing complex systems, such as AVs, the company said.
Generative Design Capabilities Enable Faster Problem Solving
In ANSYS 2019 R3, the Discovery™ family introduces generative design capabilities through an interactive topology optimization tool that is said to find optimal designs in minutes.
“ANSYS Discovery helps us quickly and accurately take the guess work out of designs early in the concept process, allowing us to explore more options through non-traditional engineering techniques, like generative design,” said Patrick Wilson, CEO at RaceShapes, in the release. “With time savings at the early stages, we’re spending more time on the details, and accelerating the process of going from prototype to production.”
“ANSYS Discovery has literally cut our design time in half,” said Mike Berry, director of engineering, Moffitt Corporation. “With the ability to do rapid design exploration paired with ‘real-time’ simulation, we’re able to leverage Discovery at the beginning of our sales process. Discovery provides the right level of detail for a preliminary design, and quick, iterative communication with our customers.”