Future Vehicle Feature Claytex – LCV2023 Show Issue

Steve Welch, editor of ‘future vehicle’ spoke to Mike Dempsey, Managing Director, and Alessandro Picarelli, Engineering Director of Claytex, finding out more about the company’s recent simulation projects and their further development of AVSandbox.

Since its acquisition by TECHNIA in early 2022, Claytex has received significant investment, enabling this UK leader in simulation systems to expand globally. Recognised as first-choice Dymola specialists, the company provides consultancy, software development, distribution, and training to accelerate vehicle development, innovation, and validation.

So, what has been Claytex’s most exciting recent project? “We’ve been working with UK EV car builder McMurtry to help them bring back legendary fan car technology,” said Alessandro Picarelli. In June 2022, the lightweight EV smashed the Goodwood record, completing the iconic 1.16-mile course in a mind-bending 39.08 seconds, breaking all official and unofficial records.The diminutive vehicle packs an incredible punch, delivering 2000kg of instant downforce with a 0-60 time of under 1.5 seconds.

Claytex provided an integrated simulation tool that helps McMurtry to develop the vehicle quickly, Picarelli said. “They approached us as they wanted a tool to integrate all the systems, including the vehicle dynamics, fan system, powertrain, and battery.” The McMurtry Spéirling is the definition of a niche vehicle, with bespoke parts and systems that are pushed to the limit. “Engineers at McMurtry wanted to accurately model the performance and interaction of these systems in the same environment with open models. In some cases, they wanted to create new models of components to protect their IP,” he said.

future vehicle – LCV2023 Show Issue

As well as powertrain and vehicle modelling solutions, another of Claytex’s flagship products is  AVSandbox. This sensor-realistic simulation helps users test autonomous vehicle safety systems in a fully deterministic, repeatable and mm accurate simulation. Built on the rFpro software platform, the simulation platform includes physics-based vehicle and sensor models, traffic, and pedestrian controllers. AVSandbox has various interfaces, enabling operators to plug in AV controllers. They can access a range of tools to configure and manage simulations, define scenarios, and access all test result data.

If it sounds complicated, it’s because it is. It should come as little surprise that the software was developed as part of Claytex’s work with the world’s leading Formula 1 teams. The system is continually being updated and improved, with 2023 seeing a new development to provide a repeatable test environment. “One of the biggest challenges with autonomous vehicles is that those control systems aren’t deterministic. That means they don’t do the same thing each time,” said Dempsey.

Autonomous vehicles will have the most immediate impact in “off-highway” applications, where conditions and variables can be controlled – but in time they could find a role in other areas, including aerospace. To assess the feasibility of autonomous aerospace solutions, Claytex has collaborated with GKN Aerospace on a new paper exploring the development and testing of a six-tilt-rotor vehicle for short, inter-city trips. Claytex built a vehicle model within Dymola that incorporated multiple failure modes, allowing for many types of dynamic flight analysis, including duty cycles and failure handling. “Our model tests included, amongst other scenarios,  what happens if a motor loses thrust and can only produce 20-30% of what’s required. How does the aircraft respond? Is it coming down like a ton of bricks, or can it control the descent?”

Read the full article here: Climbing to the top

If you have any questions or for more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Telephone: +44 1926 885900 — Email: info@claytex.com – info@avsandbox.com

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