Deakin’s simulator to test future vehicles

October 18, 2021 BY

The Next Generation Simulator will be be located in Deakin's Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation. Photo: DEAKIN UNIVERSITY

THE world’s most advanced research centre for next generation vehicles will be built in Waurn Ponds with help from the state government.

The $13 million Next Generation Simulator project at Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus will allow students, researchers and industry to do cost-effective prototype testing, engineering and commercial product design of driver and driverless cars.

The facility, to be located in Deakin’s Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation and supported by project partners Ford and Ansible Motion, will also house the European-built S3 Motion Simulator Platform for expert drivers to test products in a virtual environment.

University and TAFE students will receive training in using motion technology platforms, and research on driver-based and driverless vehicles, creating a pipeline of local workers for the advanced manufacturing industry.

The project will create 15 jobs by 2025, and four PhD positions and two internships each year.

Construction is expected to begin next month and be completed early next year, with a builder to be appointed soon.

The state government announced last week it had contributed $5 million to the project.

Deakin University vice-chancellor Professor Martin said the Next Generation Simulator would 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,” Prof. Martin said.

“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.”

Deakin’s project was one of many pitches from universities to the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund, which the state government developed in response to the significant impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the sector.

“The Next Generation Simulator will enhance our existing skills and knowledge in vehicle manufacturing to drive innovation and create world-first products,” Minister for Higher Education Gayle Tierney said.

“This is a great example of how local universities are working with government and industry to create great opportunities for Victorians as well as contributing to our economy.”

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