OptimumLap Documentation

OptimumLap is a free, simplified, vehicle simulation tool designed to estimate a vehicle’s performance within 10% of reality.

The Need for OptimumLap

In engineering projects in general, a common goal is improving performance. In most cases, improved performance can be achieved in many different ways. We’ll then face the question – What’s is the best and most efficient way to improve performance?

In the past, time and resource constraints can make it difficult to explore all different options. However, with modern computers, we are able to model and predict the behavior of different systems – for example a vehicle. Simulation is a great method to explore different design solutions without having to build a single physical part. Analyzing simulation results gives us a better understanding of how our car reacts to parameter changes. Another benefit is that with simulation results, we can make decisions based on data (rather than gut feelings).

 

The Reasoning Behind OptimumLap

With OptimumLap we set out to simplify vehicle dynamic simulation – to the point where anyone can get reasonably accurate and very useful results within minutes. By reducing the vehicle to its most fundamental components, we define a car with only 10 parameters. Each parameter represents a specific aspect of the car (such as engine, tires or aerodynamics). This makes it easy to identify the effect that each parameter/sub-system will have on the vehicle’s performance – something we believe helps you better understand what to focus your time and resources on. A simplified vehicle model does have the downside that it doesn’t allow you study the vehicle in great detail. For that we need increased fidelity, but in our experience, you have to make it useful before you make it complicated. And, with OptimumLap, the results are typically within 10% of reality (and often within 5%).

OptimumLap is using a point-mass to model the vehicle and how fast it can move along a path. Validation of the model against logged track data have shown that despite the simple model the results are quite accurate.

Example Use Cases Of OptimumLap

We have built OptimumLap to encourage you and your team, to use simulation results (engineering data) to make engineering decisions. With the built-in tools you are able to study effects of engine power, gearbox characteristics, aerodynamics, tires and mass. The results will help you define the specifications for the detailed design of different sub-systems. For example: Do you need more longitudinal or lateral grip? How much drag can you wings add before they start to negatively affect performance? Which final drive ratio minimizes the number of gear shifts? How much energy do my batteries in my electric vehicle have to be able to store to complete a race?

These are just some examples of how OptimumLap can be used and we are excited to see what types of analyses you will come up with! We are making OptimumLap available free of charge, to allow anyone the benefit from vehicle simulation.