Ansys Optics & Virtual Reality optical simulation software easily solves complex optical problems and refines visual appearance for perceived quality. It significantly elevates final product quality with true-to-life visual experiences and combines design and engineering processes in a single, connected workflow. It is possible to prepare and appraise virtual prototypes of a cockpit HMI in a real-time, immersive VR environment, or to simulate for optical sensors on autonomous vehicles with the diversity offered by Ansys Optics & Virtual Reality.
DVN interviewed Dr Sandeep Sovani, Program Director of ADAS and Autonomy at ANSYS Inc. to learn more.
Dr. Sandeep Sovani is Program Director of ADAS and Autonomy at ANSYS Inc., the world’s largest, independent simulation software company. He is responsible for product management of a comprehensive tool chain for safety-oriented design, development and validation of ADAS and automated driving systems. He holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University.
Dr. Sovani has been actively involved in various areas of automotive technology and business for over two decades.
Dr. Sovani has authored more than 40 papers, articles, reports and has delivered numerous invited lectures at academic and industry conferences. He is the recipient of Lloyd Withrow Distinguished Speaker Award from SAE International, and he is a member of SAE International, Sigma Xi, MENSA International.
DVN: Tell us a few words about your company?
Ansys : If you have ever seen a rocket launch, flown on an airplane, driven a car, used a computer, touched a mobile device, crossed a bridge or put on wearable technology, chances are you’ve used a product where Ansys software played a critical role in its creation. Ansys is the global leader in engineering simulation. Through our strategy of Pervasive Engineering Simulation, we help the world’s most innovative companies deliver radically better products to their customers. By offering the best and broadest portfolio of engineering simulation software, we help them solve the most complex design challenges and create products limited only by imagination. Founded in 1970, Ansys is headquartered south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A
DVN: DVN members were very familiar with OPTIS simulation products offer. What has Ansys added since OPTIS acquisition to complete their offer.
Ansys: Optis products cover ray-tracing light simulation use cases. However, for photonics application and for very small optical components such a microlenses on camera CMOS sensors optical wave simulation is required. Ansys Lumerical product suite provides solutions for such cases and complements Optis products. For instance, Ansys SPEOS and Ansys Lumerical FDTD are used in conjunction for accurately simulating light scattering in an environment and traveling through the lens system of a camera and through the microlenses on to the CMOS sensor.
Most engineering products, whether car headlamps or ADAS cameras, are governed by multiple physical disciplines such as optics, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, structural mechanics, electromagnetics and others. Therefore, to develop a product, engineers need to consider multiphysics effects. Ansys has a long history of developing and delivering industry-leading physics simulation solutions. Now that Optis products are in the Ansys portfolio, customers can get simulation solutions for all optical, thermal, structural, fluid, and electromagnetic aspects for their product, from Ansys.
Moreover, most engineering products are parts of larger systems. Such systems contain not only other hardware components, but increasingly software components. Ansys SCADE and Ansys medini complement Optis tools in developing the embedded software and conducting functional safety and cybersecurity analysis of such systems.
DVN: Automotive Simulation is more important than ever in vehicle engineering with the surge of innovating technologies. What are ANSYS best selling points when addressing the DVN Community of members active in automotive lighting and ADAS?
Ansys: With Optis products now part of the Ansys portfolio, customers can perform wholistic, multiphysical simulation of headlamps. Optis products provide solutions for light simulation, and other products in the Ansys portfolio such as Ansys Mechanical, Ansys CFD provide solutions for structural optimization and reliability analysis as well as the cooling and condensation simulation of the same headlamp.
Further, headlamps of modern cars are part of ADAS systems that provide smart features such as Auto High Beam, Glare-Free Beam, etc. In such systems, the headlamp works in conjunction with a forward-looking camera, switching actuators, and advanced software controls. Ansys tools in conjunction with Optis tools help in developing many aspects of this system. For instance, light emanating from the headlamps is simulated with Ansys VRXPERIENCE Headlamp, night drive simulations are conducted with Ansys VRXPERIENCE Driving Simulator powered by SCANER and Ansys VRXPERIENCE Sensor, and the control software is developed with Ansys SCADE and analyzed with Ansys medini for ensuring functional safety and cybersecurity.
DVN: How are Ansys simulation products coping with Smart cockpits and the need to enhance User Experience (UX) as passengers?
Ansys: Ansys VRXPERIENCE helps cockpit engineers test and validate a full cockpit HMI (Human Machine Interface) design, including virtual displays and actuators, through visual simulation, eye and finger tracking, and haptic feedback. Ansys VRXPERIENCE provides a full HMI evaluation for next-generation vehicles using virtual reality. This tool reduces the time and cost of design, since design evaluation is mostly performed on virtual prototypes, dramatically decreasing the number of expensive physical prototypes necessary to validate the product. Ansys VRXPERIENCE offers collaborative driving scenarios based on virtual HMIs, taking into account human factors analyses and cognitive workloads. A test driver can interact directly with the virtual interfaces, from touchscreens to switches, thanks to a fine, high-resolution finger-tracking system. As the system records the behavior of the driver and displays driving and infotainment information, it identifies and interprets the driver’s actions and triggers the adapted HMI reaction automatically. This makes it easy for you to evaluate the relevance of the displayed information, in real time, for a safer drive.
Furthermore, Ansys SCADE Display provides cockpit engineers with a versatile graphics design and development environment for embedded software of HMIs. With native support for the OpenGL® SC1 & SC2 (Safety Critical) and ES1 & ES2 (Embedded System) standards, SCADE Display represents a new generation of graphics software development tools, spanning prototyping, display design, simulation, verification and validation, and certified code generation supporting several safety standards in a certifiable environment. SCADE Display is tightly integrated with SCADE Suite to provide a comprehensive development environment for both embedded HMIs and their behavioral logic.
DVN: Could you present your achievements with ADAS companies such as Aeye or Edge Case Research?
Ansys : AEye is an artificial perception pioneer and creator of iDAR™, a perception system that acts as the eyes and visual cortex of autonomous vehicles. Since its demonstration of its solid-state LiDAR scanner in 2013, AEye has pioneered breakthroughs in intelligent sensing. Last year, Ansys and AEye jointly announced that AEye is incorporating Ansys’ industry-leading simulation solutions into the design of its Intelligent Detection and Ranging (iDAR™) platform — enabling customers to reduce physical prototyping and improve the safety and reliability of autonomous systems. Safeguarding autonomous driving requires next-generation sensors to quickly and correctly interpret certain hazardous road scenarios that cannot be reliably detected by conventional perception platforms. To validate the sensors’ effectiveness, exhaustive road testing must be successfully completed — demanding significant development time and expenses. With Ansys, AEye empowers automotive manufacturers to potentially simulate driving situations across millions of miles in just days, minimizing physical prototyping. AEye is implementing Ansys® SPEOS® and Ansys® VRXPERIENCE®, a state-of-the-art driving simulation tool with physics-based sensor models, into the design of AEye’s iDAR — empowering customers to quickly test and certify iDAR designs within a realistic virtual driving environment. AEye’s automotive-grade iDAR combines deterministic and AI-driven perception to deliver detection and classification at high speed and far range not possible for conventional LiDAR or camera sensors. Through the integration, automotive customers deploying autonomous vehicle and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) will be able to virtually prototype AEye’s software-definable, agile LiDAR to simulate exactly how they want to sense their environment.
DVN: Ansys is the world leader in engineering simulation, offering the best and the widest portfolio of technical simulation software. Could you name some customers in the automotive lighting and ADAS activities?
Have you some examples on your offers to them?
Ansys: Every year, Ansys conducts a large virtual conference,called Simulation World, which serves as a showcase of the work being done by Ansys customers, partners, and other relevant thought leaders. For instance, in last year’s Simulation World conference, presenters from BMW, FLIR, SKODA, Valeo and other companies presented their work related to ADAS and automated driving systems.
FLIR Systems and Ansys are collaborating to deliver superior hazard detection capabilities for future assisted driving and autonomous vehicles (AVs) — empowering automakers to deliver improved vehicle safety. Through a technical collaboration, FLIR Systems will integrate a fully physics-based thermal sensor into Ansys’ leading-edge driving simulator to model, test, and validate thermal camera designs within an ultra-realistic virtual world. Current AV and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) sensors cannot dependably identify objects in darkness and through smog, inclement weather, shadows and sun glare. Thermal cameras, however, can effectively detect and classify objects in these conditions. Integrating FLIR Systems’ thermal sensor into Ansys® VRXPERIENCE®, will enable engineers to simulate thousands of driving scenarios across millions of miles in mere days and reduce physical prototyping. Engineers can also simulate uncommon and difficult scenarios where thermal excels, including wildlife encounters and distinguishing pedestrians from other roadway objects in low-contrast environments. The new ADAS solution will slash OEMs’ development time by optimizing thermal camera placement for use with systems such as automatic emergency braking (AEB) and within future AVs for the critical aspect of pedestrian detection.
Ansys and BMW Group are creating the industry’s first holistic simulation tool chain for developing autonomous vehicle (AV) technologies. The simulation tool chain will enable highly automated and autonomous driving (AD) with the first vehicle launch expected in just two years. BMW Group is leveraging Ansys’ broad pervasive engineering simulation solutions and experience to speed up the development of a safety-focused solution for the validation of AD systems. The new automated simulation tool chain will make efficient use of BMW´s large amount of sensor data through intelligent data analytics and the creation of scenarios according to statistical relevance and AD system sensitivity. The scenarios will include usual driving situations and corner cases to ensure maximum test coverage. Based on these scenarios, the tool chain will perform rigorous safety assessments of the AD systems in a high-performance virtual environment. Ansys and BMW will support its adaptability and openness regarding relevant interfaces and validation approaches to accommodate and foster safety initiatives.