SimuTech was honored to partner with Ansys, Inc., the Ontario Centres of Excellence, WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation, Barco, and Advanced Realtime Tracking (ART) to help build Canada’s largest publicly available Virtual Reality (VR) CAVE. The VR CAVE opened with a celebratory ribbon-cutting on May 29, 2019 at Windsor’s Institute for Border Logistics and Security.
The CAVE for Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Technologies, located at Windsor’s Institute for Border Logistics and Security, allows companies to test, prototype, and research parts and full-size vehicles–including large trucks–in a state-of-the art VR space.
SimuTech’s Toronto office project-managed the CAVE and developed the driving cockpit, providing computers and virtual reality components. “Without SimuTech’s involvement and leadership in bringing Canada’s largest Cave Automatic Virtual Reality (CAVE) to fruition, the project would have never been completed in such a timely and successful manner,” says Stephen MacKenzie, President & Chief Executive Officer at WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation.
The VR itself is powered almost exclusively by ANSYS VREXPERIENCE software and related ANSYS Optis tools. Barco provided four high-resolution UDX projection systems and surfaces, providing full 3D immersion. ART provided the advanced real-time tracking system that follows the user’s entire body, placing them inside the 3D environment. Among many other applications, this is used to perform human machine interface (HMI) studies for design verification/validation.
The $4.6 million CAVE, located in Windsor-Essex, Ontario at the border where Canada meets Detroit, Michigan, was funded in part by the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN). It’s anticipated that in the future, autonomous trucks will be able to cross the Canada-United States border at the bridge more quickly and easily than today’s vehicles. In the nearer term, the partners plan for the CAVE to support Canada’s automotive industry by providing a space to design prototypes, test products, and spur innovation. There’s no charge for Ontario private companies to use the CAVE.
“It was amazing to be a part of the talented team here at SimuTech bringing the CAVE to life. As Alan McKim, SimuTech’s VP of Test Engineering and QA, ran the project from a system integration standpoint, others on our team assembled and tested top-of-the-line computers that fed the projectors. Some folks made sparks fly with metal grinders, giving shape to a driving simulation cockpit. Finally, with the help of our ANSYS partners, it was all brought together by deploying the ANSYS VREXPERIENCE software,” said SimuTech (Toronto) Engineering Manager Szymon Buhajczuk, who assisted with the project. “In the end, no doubt it will bring much value to the Windsor-Essex region and beyond,” he added.