Simulation in the Automotive Industry

Testing and simulation in vehicle development ensure proper functionality of your systems. Are you looking to model transmissions, chassis and vehicle dynamics, for instance, in order to develop vehicles that are more energy efficient? Then SimulationX is your simulation software of choice.

Testing and simulating different functionalities in vehicle development

Be it modeling of drive systems, chassis and vehicle dynamics simulation, efficiency analyses of gearboxes or energy efficiency in general – ESI ITI’s engineers support you throughout the entire product development process. Model your own multiphysics systems and conduct virtual tests in SimulationX. System integration is our core competency; achieving proper functionality is our common development goal; system simulation with our simulation software SimulationX is your tool of choice.

Market requirements

Automotive engineering: market requirements and trends

When computers and machines in today’s digital factories take over more and more development and production tasks, the engineer’s abilities to make assessments and to handle integrated systems are key. Instead of looking at isolated systems, such as the chassis, engine, transmission or clutch, engineers are forced more than ever to recognize correlations and think in more integrated ways. Here are some examples of the ongoing change in the automotive industry:

  • Strong division of labor between internal resources and external suppliers at different locations around the globe
  • Great share of development work with shorter development cycles
  • Declining product maturity due to time constraints, while more variants are explored in the development
  • Integrated development and production units
  • Increased complexity by transition to mechatronic vehicles
  • More safety regulations and standards

Quality management in vehicle development

Already 90 % of all innovations in vehicles involve electronic systems – with a growing tendency. What do your development engineers contribute to ensure proper functionality of your products? What is your development approach? How can you further improve quality and the development process? How do you counter hazards and risks? The ISO standard 26262 does not suffice today’s methods in product and quality management. We have the necessary experience from many different projects and know our way around finding the right solution for you. 

Our solution

Simulation solutions for the automotive industry

What may the drivetrain in future vehicles look like? How high are power density, energy efficiency, flexibility, vehicle dynamics and driving comfort? How do several physical systems interact with each other and how can mechatronic correlations be described in a comprehensible way? These and other questions can no longer be answered through measured data. That is why renowned car makers around the globe have been working in their product development with one of the leading simulation tools and engineering services from ESI ITI for years: SimulationX.

SimulationX – Software for vehicle development

The following applications show you examples of how you can use our simulation software SimulationX:

  • Physical 1D to 3D simulation of drive and chassis systems on a single platform
  • Scalable concepts of engines, drives, controller layouts and chassis
  • Model-based development of different functionalities for vehicle dynamics analyses
  • Numerical calculation with validated and customizable model components (e.g. simulation of engine, clutch, gearbox, chassis and controls)
  • Preliminary design and evaluation of conventional, hybrid and electric drive systems including thermal management and operating strategies
  • Prediction and understanding of 1D to 3D vibrational phenomena (NVH: noise vibration harshness)
  • Virtual component and system tests based on physical models throughout all development phases (HiL, MiL, SiL)
  • Simulation-based design and execution of experiments

Multiphysics modeling of vehicle systems

Safety, reliability and availability of driver assistance and vehicle dynamics systems are key to creating innovative vehicle concepts, such as self-driving cars. With the multiphysics simulation software SimulationX, you are in full control of a vehicle’s electronics and mechatronics interactions. Whether you already are experienced in simulation techniques or whether you want to learn them – SimulationX is suitable for experts and beginners alike. Let our industry experts assist you in choosing the right version for your needs. Together we will find the best combination of software and engineering services for your simulation and testing efforts in the field of automotive applications.

Development and virtual testing of electrified vehicles

Thermal management

How can I quickly simulate thermal loads in electric and hybrid vehicles without having to perform tedious and time-consuming series of measurements? Batteries in electrified vehicles heat up when they are charged quickly or when their power output is high, which can damage them. This places new demands on cooling and heating concepts in the field of e-mobility. With the help of SimulationX, the suitability of a thermal management concept can be tested in just a few minutes and a thermal management system for the entire vehicle can be simulated, including the battery, the power electronics and the electric motor. This allows the number of different cooling circuits to be reduced, weight and costs to be saved and additional space in the vehicle to be gained.

Battery design and energy management

What is the optimum capacity and performance of my battery in terms of costs, installation space, range and service life? The highly dynamic power flow of the electric drive and recuperation place high demands on the energy supply. Cooling the battery (or heating at low temperatures) also has a major influence on its performance and service life. With the help of the SimulationX Vehicle Drives (Energy and Controls) libraries, Electric Energy Storage and our Thermodynamics libraries, you will get meaningful answers to these questions.


Since in electric vehicles - apart from hybrid models - the combustion engine as a main source of excitation for vibrations and noises is omitted, disturbing noises in other parts of the drive train (e.g. in the transmission) become more noticeable. Vibrations in the powertrain cause undesired noises in the interior of the vehicle and its surroundings due to excitation, e.g. of the transmission housing, the chassis or the bodywork. In combination with specialized simulation solutions from ESI (including FE [Finite Element] and BE [Boundary Element] methods), SimulationX is an important link in a continuous simulation chain from excitation to sound radiation.

Using elements from the electromechanics and drive technology libraries (combined with the "Electrical Energy Storage" library if required), you can dimension all components of the electrical machine, battery and transmission elements, including field-oriented control and rectifiers.

Simulation of Energy Storage Systems

From battery storage to flywheel storage - learn more about the simulation of energy storages.

Go to energy storages

HVAC technology in vehicles, machinery and buildings

Application examples and solutions

Go to HVAC technology

Customers and References

All over the world, suppliers and engineering providers in the automobile industry, use SimulationX for designing and optimizing vehicle systems. e.g. Audi, BMW, Continental, Daimler, Ford, Honda, IAV, Jaguar, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Schaeffler or Volkswagen.

  • BMW Group

    SimulationX is used by the BMW Group for the simulation of Bowden cables in virtual vehicles

    about BMW's project
  • Volkswagen

    Modeling powertrains and analyzing system behavior with SimulationX

    about VW's project
  • ZF

    Enhances development of torsional vibration dampers by using SimulationX

    about ZF's project
  • Daimler Trucks

    Developing pneumatic brake systems through dynamic simulation

    about Daimler's project

    Designing and experiencing shifting sequences conveniently

    about Hoerbiger's project
  • Mahindra & Mahindra

    Modeling and real-time simulation of an automobile HVAC system in SimulationX

    about Mahindra's project
  • Krauss-Maffei Wegmann

    With SimulationX Krauss-Maffei Wegmann simulates and tests off-road vehicles in virtual reality

    about KMW's project
  • Elbflorace

    Designing energy storage solutions for electric vehicles in the best possible way

    about Elbflorace's project
  • Get to know SimulationX

    Do you already have experience in simulation techniques or are you just about to get started? SimulationX is available to beginners and experts for automotive simulations alike. Find out which version may suit you best.


    Transforming Mobility

    Read how electric vehicles are disrupting the Transportation Industry.

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    Nico Krückeberg Sales
    Salim Chaker Engineering
    Chris Penndorf Engineering
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