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TruckSim Package Options

TruckSim is a software package for simulating and analyzing the behavior of heavy trucks and combination vehicles in response to steering, braking, and acceleration inputs. The truck models and some of the smaller combination vehicle models run faster than real-time using ordinary PC's. The basic TruckSim packages require no other software, although full compatibility with other simulation environments is included for MATLAB/Simulink, LabView, ETAS ASCET, and programming languages such as Visual Basic and C.

For information about system requirements and software compatibility, see this specification sheet.

Additional packages offer extra capabilities.

Core TruckSim

TruckSim includes a set of VS Solvers customized to provide parametric models of heavy trucks and combination vehicles, a VS Browser and GUI customized to work with the TruckSim VS Solvers, and the VS Visualizer for animation and plotting. TruckSim also includes many example 3D vehicle shapes used for examples in the TruckSim database, and ready for use in new user-defined vehicles.

As with any VehicleSim product, TruckSim includes interfaces between the TruckSim DLL files and Simulink, LabVIEW, and ASCET. The TruckSim VS Solvers fully support the VS Command scripting language, for automation and model extension. They also support the VS API, providing access to the math models from external programs written in languages such as MATLAB, Visual BASIC, C/C++, Python, etc.

All solvers support 99 programmable moving objects (traffic vehicles, crossing vehicles, pedestrians, etc.). Movement is controlled with VS commands or external software (e.g., Simulink).

Although one DLL works for many contexts, each DLL is customized for a particular TruckSim vehicle model configuration of axles and trailers. The overall vehicle configuration is described with a short code based on these rules:

  • Each axle is represented with the name I or S , indicating whether the associated suspension is an independent (I) or solid-axle (S) system.
  • Axles on a vehicle unit that have no load-equalization linkages are separated by an underscore. For example, a 2-axle vehicle with solid-axle suspensions is represented as S_S.
  • Axles that make up a tandem suspension are written with no separator. For example, a 3-axle single-unit vehicle with solid-axle suspensions and a tandem linking axles 2 and 3 is represented as S_SS.
  • Hitches between vehicle units are represented with plus signs and surrounding spaces (" + "). For example, a 3-axle combination vehicle with all solid axles is represented as " S_S + S ."
  • Dollies are indicated with a prefix "d" for the unit, such as "S_S + S + dS + S."

TruckSim includes 35 axle-trailer configurations in the basic package and in the optional package that includes frame torsional flexibility. These 70 models are provided both as 32-bit and 64-bit DLLs for use with corresponding versions of Windows, for a total of 140 DLL files.

Following are the 35 configurations. Configurations added for version 2016 are shown in bold.

I_I + I
I_II + I

S_S + S
S_S + S + dS + S
S_S + S + dS + S + dS + S
S_S + S + S
S_S + SS

S_SS + S
S_SS + S + dS + S + dS + S
S_SS + SS + SS
S_SS + dS + S
S_SS + S + dS + S
S_SS + SS + dSS + SS

ADAS Sensors

Basic TruckSim includes motion sensors (up to 99) and moving objects (up to 99). With an optional Sensor license, the TruckSim models include up to 20 ADAS sensors that provide detection signal for the the moving objects.

Each ADAS sensor has a location fixed in some part of the simulated vehicle, with a designated aiming direction and sensitivity to radiation pattern and range. Sensors in TruckSim vehicles can be mounted in any of the vehicle sprung masses.

The main outputs of interest are variables that link a sensor to a detected object. Each possible combination of sensor and target object has an associated set of output variables that can be used in user-defined models to simulate advanced intervention controls. These include bearing angles to the left edge, right edge, and closest point; distances to the left edge, right edge, and closest point; ID of object; relative speed to the closest point; width; etc. Please see the Moving Objects and ADAS Sensors page for more information.

Extended Models: Cab Mounts and Frame Torsional Compliance

The TruckSim models with frame torsional compliance also have mounted cabs. The cab mounts are important when evaluating ride quality in the cab. The frame torsional compliance is an important factor in determining the load transfer to the tires and therefore it affects handling and other behaviors.

The extra complexity slows the simulation time by about 20% and requires data that might be hard to obtain for many users; this is why the basic models are based on the more simple assumption of torsionally rigid frames.

An optional frame-twist license is required to run simulations using the models with frame twist and mounted cabs.

TruckSim RT

TruckSim Real-Time (RT) provides math models compiled to run on "target" computers with real-time operating systems such as QNX, Linux RT, dSPACE, etc. A Windows "host" machine is used for the TruckSim database, animator, and plotter. Files are automatically sent to and received from the target, where the Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) testing is controlled. (See the RT page for more information.) RT versions are available as off-the-shelf CD's for these platforms:

  • dSPACE (DS1005, DS1006, DS1103, SCALEXIO)
  • Opal-RT RT-Lab systems (version 7 and higher)
  • National Instruments LabVIEW RT
  • ETAS LabCar RT
  • Fujitsu-Ten CRAMAS
  • A&D (AD5410, AD5440)

Input and output files from TruckSim RT can be exchanged with users of offline (Windows, non-RT) TruckSim. This lets you follow the same design and evaluation from preliminary design to HIL evaluation.

Driving Simulators (TruckSim DS)

TruckSim vehicle math models have been used in many driving simulators. Here are several ways to use TruckSim in a driving simulator.

  • The TruckSim DS desktop package includes the basic TruckSim software, plus an RT version of VS Visualizer (the animator in TruckSim), plus a real-time block that slows the math model down to "wait" for real time, plus controllers for inexpensive game controls for steering, braking, and shifting the transmission. Options for this package include a higher-quality steering system for more accurate steering feel. VS Visualizer supports multiple windows for one computer; it is usually possible to view 3 monitors using a single computer running VS Visualizer. If more computers are used to support more monitors, then additional live animator licenses can be obtained.
  • TruckSim or TruckSim RT can be used to replace the math models in existing simulator systems. If the simulators run the math model on a Windows PC, it is often possible to run the regular TruckSim math model DLLs using the VehicleSim API to link between your simulation environment and the TruckSim DLLs.

Be aware that larger, more complicated vehicle models run slower than smaller models. It is still possible to generate TruckSim models for large vehicles that will not run well in real time. The more trailers and axles that exist in the model, the slower it runs. All of the models included in TruckSim run faster than real time on a fast PC, but larger custom models might run slower.

Interface to AVL Cruise

The TruckSim models include an option for low-level integration with the commercial powertrain simulation software Cruise from AVL. With this option, the internal powertrain model in TruckSim is replaced with a model from AVL Cruise.

Custom Vehicle Configurations

In addition to the core axle-trailer configurations included in TruckSim, you can order other configurations of trailers and axles. The database supports an almost unlimited number of trailer, dolly, and axle combinations; Mechanical Simulation can provide the math models to go along with those combinations.

Big vehicles
TruckSim includes 35 combinations of axles and trailers. Here is an example with 6 units (tractor, three semitrailers, and two dollies). Click for more detail.

Moving objects are used to represent traffic and lane-edge targets for ADAS sensor simulation. Click for more detail.

ESC Testing
TruckSim models are available with frame twist and mounted cabs. Click for more detail.

TruckSim up to 50 road surfaces that can be combined to simulate realistic intersections. Click for more detail.

TruckSim QuadDS with 4-post movements and advanced graphics. Click for more detail.
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