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BMW i Ventures invests in cloud simulation company for engineering tasks

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BMW i Ventures announced Wednesday its investment in Simr, a cloud simulation company that provides a platform for using any compute resources with any simulation tool, according to a press release. 

The investment enhances the company’s newly launched Simulation Operations Automation (SimOps) platform, according to the release. It says the platform can revolutionize how engineers design, verify, and test products by allowing them to automate simulations in the cloud. 

Simr secured $20 million in Series A funding led by Uncorrelated Ventures, the release says. It also received investments from BMW i Ventures and Earlybird Venture Capital. 

“The funding will drive further expansion in North America and Europe, while also growing the company’s engineering and product innovation teams,” the release says. 

BMI i Ventures is an independent capital firm of BMW Group. It invests in early to growth-stage companies focused on automotive, sustainability, manufacturing, and supply chain. 

“SimOps has the potential to revolutionize how companies design complex, breakthrough products by letting teams iterate and test their ideas in the time they were previously forced to waste waiting for simulations to be completed,” said Baris Guzel, BMW i Ventures partner, in the release. “SimOps gives engineering teams the power to explore more options faster, and at lower cost. As manufacturing continues to evolve towards more digital and simulation-driven development processes, Simr is well-positioned to play a pivotal role in this transformation.”

Simulations or digital modeling have become more prominent in automotive discussions in recent years. 

Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz performed the first vehicle manufacturer X-ray of a crash test, which the company has said could be used to help create more accurate digital modeling crash tests in the future. 

Last year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) developed a virtual test to measure how seat and head restraints protect vehicle occupants. 

Marcy Edwards, an IIHS senior research engineer, previously said in an article that digital modeling could one day make it easier to test various risk factors that are difficult to do with real-world crash tests. For example, modeling currently in development could perform a crash test multiple times with different body types. 

A 2023 article from The Engineer says modeling can be used to simulate a driver or passenger as a pregnant female, an elderly person, or a child. 

“For elderly individuals, who usually have decreased bone strength and increased brittleness, virtual modeling can help understand the impact that the sudden inflation of an airbag would have on them in the event of a collision,” the article says. 

It says modeling can replicate injuries to the musculoskeletal systems and organs in ways real-world testing couldn’t.

A Pennsylvania company is using simulation technology with plans to change the materials OEMs use to make car parts, according to a JustAuto article

Ansys can use simulations to test materials, such as recycled plastic, early in a part’s design process, the article said.

The company’s simulations use physics models to understand the variability of a material property. The simulations can be replayed hundreds of times to see how the material responds.

“Simulation has become a prerequisite for every engineering business,” said Scott Wilkins, Ansys lead product marketing manager, in the article. “…That’s really our space: how we can translate the laws of physics into something that you can visualize and accomplish digitally. That is our power from a company standpoint.”


Photo courtesy of BMW i 

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