nVIZ Virtual Test Drive Server Version 2020.0

Documentation for other Versions


Download and execute the nVIZ Virtual Test Drive Server installer.

For virtual test driving in Autodesk VRED, you need to copy the following two files to your VRED Script Plugins directory after the installer has completed:

See the nVIZ Motion Plugin Documentation for more details on the Motion Plugin for VRED.

For virtual test driving in Unity, we provide the following DLL to enable the communication between the VTD Server and your Unity application:

Link this DLL with your Unity project – see the nVIZ Unity Plugin Guide in the same directory for detailed information.

The nVIZ dashboard, designed to operate the virtual test drive while seated in the nVIZ seat buck, requires an installation of Node.js. You can download the installer from nodejs.org or download the version last tested by nVIZ from our download site.


Please contact nVIZ to receive your license file. The license file needs to be copied to the directory:

Virtual Test Drive Server

Click the Windows start button, scroll to the “nVIZ” program group, click “Virtual Test Drive”.

  1. Each checkbox, if checked, will start a dedicated thread for the communication with one hardware device or software tool.
  2. The actual sampling rate for each thread will be displayed. For optimal performance of the overall system, it is important to tune the sampling rate of each hardware device and software tool to its individual optimal value.
  3. To analyze individual parameters or for debugging purposes, you can set a checkmark to create a log file of the complete communication on that thread. NB.: this will cost performance, i.e., should not be used in productive operation. The log files will be written to:
  4. Use the Start and Stop buttons to launch all checked communication threads and to shut down all threads.
  5. The combo box provides the gear selection for automatic transmissions. The radio buttons allow you to switch the autopilot on or off for autonomous driving studies.
  6. The digit displays show actual values of overall vehicle parameters while in operation.
  7. The steering force, friction, and damping can be adjusted for an optimal steering experience while the server is running.
  8. Each tab provides detailed settings for a communication thread.
  9. The terminal window provides feedback, warnings and error messages. The messages are saved to a log file:
    Please send this log file to nVIZ if you encounter any issues.

Operating VTD Server with SENSO Wheel and IPG CarMaker

Operating VTD Server with Autodesk VRED or Unity

Simulation Solver

Simulation Solver Settings Screenshot

Main Controller – Steering Wheel and Pedals

Note: Pedal Calibrations are moved to Preferences Dialog.

Auxiliary Controller

The Auxiliary Controller thread can be used to communicate with an arbitrary analog input device.

Note: Pedal Calibrations are moved to Preferences Dialog.

Motion Platform

Motion Platform Settings Screenshot

Equilibrium State

The CarMaker solver will calculate the vehicle equilibrium state in the preparation phase and apply the transformations to put the vehicle into its state of equilibrium. Typically you will want to subtract these initial transformations so that the motion platform takes its initial position at the first simulation time step.

To get your vehicle’s equilibrium state values, open the CarMaker GUI, load the Test Run, go to Simulation > Model Check and click Start. You will get a text file in the editor. At the bottom of the text file, you will find the corresponding values under the header line “###Geometry (equilibrium or start-off configuration)”.

Driver Hip Point

The transformations received from the CarMaker solver are all given in the FR1 CarMaker reference frame. The FR1 is located in the vehicle’s symmetry plane, at the most rear point of the vehicle, on the ground. For a correct driving experience on the motion platform, these values need to be transformed to the driver hip point and then applied to the motion platform.

The translational accelerations are required for the motion cueing algorithms of Bosch eMotion motion platform. These accelerations received from CarMaker solver are in FR1 CarMaker reference system at the center of gravity. All these values need to be transformed to the driver hip point before being applied to the motion platform.

We assume that the motion platform’s controller makes sure the received rotations apply to the hip point of the person seated on the motion platform.

Driver Hip Point Position Settings Screenshot

Motion Cueing X-DOF and YAW-DOF Algorithms

These settings are only available for COSMATE motion platforms. Accelerations exerting forces on the driver’s body are usually called motion cues. The limited workspace of the motion platform makes it impossible to generate long lasting acceleration cues but special motion cueing algorithms can compensate this limitation to some extent. The plugin includes motion cueing algorithms requested by a customer for the X-DOF and the YAW-DOF. To get the best possible driving experience from your specific motion platform, use the custom DLL we provide with the installation to develop your own motion cueing algorithms or contact us to have your algorithms added to the GUI.



The dashboard is designed to run on a tablet or touch screen mounted next to the steering wheel on the nVIZ seat buck. It will allow the driver to select the vehicle type and the test track from a slideshow. After the data has been loaded, the driver can start/stop the engine on the dashboard, select the gear, switch the autopilot and receive feedback on any vehicle parameter while driving. The dashboard is an HTML application run on NodeJs which allows you to modify it to your own design and requirements.

Click the Windows Start button, go to the nVIZ programs group and start the dashboard from there:

The dashboard will parse the directory:

All image files of type *.png found in that directory will be added to the slide show on the dashboard. The name of the image file is relevant! When selecting an image from the slideshow on the dashboard, the name of the image file will be passed to CarMaker and VRED. CarMaker will load a Test Run with that same name and VRED will switch a variant set with that same name.

Launch Google Chrome (Internet Explorer is not supported) and type in the URL:

<host name>:8000

Dashboard Settings Screenshot

Render Engine

Render Engine Settings Screenshot

Real-Time Operating System

For time-critical simulation, data acquisition and process control applications you can have VTD Server communicate with a real-time operating system.

RTOS Settings Screenshot

Tracking System

Leap Motion as a finger tracking system is currently in the development phase. It is available as a beta version in this release. For further information, please contact nVIZ.


Preferences dialog can be found under ‘Edit’ in the VTD Server GUI. It contains some of the settings that are not expected to be changed very frequently. It contains settings of the pedals and the motion rotation point of motion platform among many other settings. To get the live analog value of the pedals in the preferences dialog, the server must be started and the respective controller must also be checked.

‘Save’ button can be used to save the preferences to the file which will be loaded every time the application starts. ‘Cancel’ button will just close the preferences dialog without saving the changes. ‘Restore Defaults’ button can be used to load back the factory settings. The user preferences are saved to the preferences file under:


Main Controller

Auxiliary Controller

  1. Release the device.
  2. Read the “Analog Input” value.
  3. Type in that value as “Minimum”.
  4. Push the device to its max.
  5. Read the “Analog Input” value.
  6. Type in that value as “Maximum”.

Motion Platform