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Set Up Virtual Vehicle Architecture

To configure, build, and test your virtual vehicle in the Virtual Vehicle Composer, the first step is to set up the fundamental vehicle architecture, such as the vehicle class, powertrain type, model template, and the level of vehicle dynamics detail. Make these choices in the Setup pane of the app.

Diagram of Virtual Vehicle Composer workflow with Setup highlighted.

To start Virtual Vehicle Composer, perform one of these actions:

  • MATLAB® Toolstrip: On the Apps tab, under Automotive, click the Virtual Vehicle Composer app icon Virtual Vehicle Composer icon.

  • MATLAB Command Window: Enter virtualVehicleComposer.

Then, go to the Composer tab and click New "New" button to start new virtual vehicle.. This action takes you to the Setup pane. You can return to view this pane any time by clicking the Setup tab.

Virtual Vehicle Composer app Setup pane

These architectural choices determine which simulations can be run on your virtual vehicle, and cannot be changed once you click Confirm Setup:

  • Vehicle class

  • Model template

  • Powertrain architecture

  • Vehicle dynamics

For Vehicle class, you can select either Passenger vehicle or Motorcycle. Select Passenger vehicle to set up a four-wheeled vehicle designed for light-duty use, such as a passenger car, cross-over vehicle, or pickup truck. Select Motorcycle to set up a two-wheeled motorcycle.

For Powertrain architecture, choose from the powertrain types. For Passenger vehicle, you can choose between a conventional powertrain with an internal combustion engine, five types of battery-electric powertrain, and seven types of hybrid-electric powertrain. For Motorcycle, you can choose a conventional powertrain with an internal combustion engine, or a battery-electric powertrain.

Your options for Model template depend on the Vehicle class you select. The templates are named for the type of physical components they accommodate. A Simulink template populates with Simulink® components. A Simscape template populates with Simscape™ components. For Passenger vehicle, you can select either a Simulink or Simscape template. For Motorcycle, the only choice is Simscape.

The app can model vehicle motion at different levels of detail. The Vehicle dynamics choices depend on the Vehicle class you select.

For Passenger vehicle, you have two choices on the Setup pane. If you select Longitudinal vehicle dynamics, the template models forward vehicle motion. However, you have the option to add vertical and pitch motions in the Data and Calibration pane. If you select Combined longitudinal and lateral vehicle dynamics, the template models longitudinal, lateral, and vertical translations and their corresponding rotations.

For Motorcycle you have two choices. If you select In-plane motorcycle dynamics, the template will model longitudinal, vertical, and pitch motions. If you choose Out-of-plane motorcycle dynamics, the template will model longitudinal, lateral, and vertical translations, and their corresponding rotations.

Note that the degrees of freedom are relative to the vehicle for both Passenger vehicle and Motorcycle.

On the Setup pane, you also select the storage locations for your vehicle project and for a catalog of custom components:

  • Project path

  • Configuration name

  • Custom component catalog

Project path is the storage location to place all of your project work within the model architecture you set. You cannot change it once you click Confirm Setup. Each time you configure a vehicle with a specific set of components and parameters, save the configuration under a unique Configuration name.

Custom component catalog is an XML file you can use to access custom components, such as electric motors, engines, tires, and suspensions that you need to access repeatedly. You can store reparameterized components from within the Virtual Vehicle Composer or Simulink models that are compatible with the model template. You cannot change the custom catalog file name once you click Confirm Setup.

Once you complete your selections, click Confirm Setup. The app loads the information required to set up the template you specify.

Virtual Vehicle Composer app blank model template

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