New vehicle simulator to drive Victorian economy further


Deakin University is set to accelerate Australia’s vehicular technologies into the future with the world’s most advanced Next Generation Motion Simulator and automotive design and testing platform, thanks to $5 million in funding from the Victorian Government.

Opening in the first half of 2022, the Simulator will provide compelling virtual worlds for vehicle development engineers and expert drivers in test and evaluation of new vehicle designs. Additionally, the associated infrastructure will allow advanced virtual vehicle prototyping design and testing, driver training, and automotive research and development.

Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin and Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research Professor Julie Owens today welcomed the announcement of funding for the new platform by Training, Skills and Higher Education Minister the Hon Gayle Tierney MP.

Professor Martin said the Next Generation Simulator will provide the first dedicated and most advanced research infrastructure for driver-based and autonomous mobility technologies in Australia.

“This is an exciting initiative and a powerful demonstration of what can be achieved when academia works collaboratively with government and industry partners.

“This crucial infrastructure project will position Geelong as a global leader in the industry and make a substantial contribution to Deakin’s deep commitment to the economic and social development of regional Victoria.”

The Simulator is supported by the Victorian Government through its Higher Education State Investment Fund (VHESIF). Deakin will be the first recipient of Ansible Motion’s new 360 degree projection system integrated into their Delta S3 model of dynamic driving simulator.

Professor Owens said the Next Generation Simulator will help build a highly skilled Victorian-based workforce in advanced mobility technologies through the creation of new markets and export opportunities.

“Deakin is a local university with global impact. Together with our partners, we translate our research into commercial, economic and social outcomes that help improve the future opportunities of our communities.

“The platform will be an important addition to the world class motion simulation facilities at Deakin’s Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI) on our Waurn Ponds Campus, and will offer a unique asset to researchers, manufacturers and students in Victoria and Australia more broadly.”

IISRI is the ideal home for this development says Professor Saeid Nahavandi, Director of IISRI and the Next Generation Simulator project leader.

“IISRI has a proven track record of developing strategic partnerships including with over 500 business, industry and government agencies around the world.

“In addition to cost-effective virtual vehicle design, test and evaluation by automotive experts, we’re pleased to provide internship opportunities and bespoke motion technologies training for higher education students and industry partners alike.”

Existing Deakin partners including Ford, Qantas and smaller technology providers are expected to use the facilities to expand their skills in simulation, generate IP and develop next generation prototypes. This will anchor further jobs in Geelong as the facility will assist Ford Australia to become the global vehicle design, test, and evaluation hub for multinational Ford Motor Company.

Furthermore, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), through a dedicated engagement program, will be offered access to the cutting-edge simulation technologies, consulting and expert services, and engineering support to expediate their growth into internationally competitive businesses.

The new facility is expected to extend motion simulation technology-based research and innovation into new applications from road safety to shipping, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, ensuring Victoria remains at the forefront of mobility technology into the future.

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