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The digital test driver of the German automotive industry has been in use for 30 years

10.09.2018

The automotive industry has it easier than other industries. Why? Because almost everyone “fits” comfortably into a car and the vehicle can be optimally adapted to the needs of the driver and passengers in just a few easy steps – and the digital manikin RAMSIS by Human Solutions has been making this happen for 30 years now. 

The top 30 companies in the international automotive industry use the RAMSIS digital manikin for the interior design of their vehicles. RAMSIS has not only taken a seat in almost every car on the market, but also in trucks, airplanes, construction machines and even in submarines, ensuring safety and comfort in every vehicle. In the highly-competitive automotive market, ergonomic quality also determines the economic success of a vehicle.

Our aspiration – to depict humans realistically

RAMSIS is 30 years old this year - and the digital manikin has many fathers. In the 1980s, German automotive industry manufacturers agreed that it was necessary to integrate people into vehicle development as early as possible. On the one hand, this was triggered by growing competition from Japan and on the other, the car manufacturers agreed that production simply had to be more efficient to live up to its pioneering role. “It was at this time that the virtualization of product development began, and it meant that the design of a vehicle was mainly carried out on computers,” explains Dr. Andreas Seidl. He was then a student of electrical engineering and cybernetics at the Technical University of Munich. Now he is the CEO of the Human Solutions GmbH, which develops and markets RAMSIS. “It quickly became clear that the industry had to find a way to depict the human being correctly; and not just an ideal body, but real people. Dimensions alone weren’t enough; posture and movement also had to be taken into account.”

Joint ergonomics research in the automotive industry

Today, RAMSIS is being further developed by a German automotive industry joint advisory panel. The panel members represent Adient, Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford, Opel, Porsche and Volkswagen – and they define the requirements of the industry today. A scientific advisory board monitors the technical quality, while Human Solutions GmbH is responsible for the development and sales of the software, and also conducts research on ergonomics in the vehicle.

Noticeable changes to vehicles 

RAMSIS has significantly changed the design of automobiles over the past 30 years. In the past, the steering wheel could only be moved up or down, if at all. Very tall or very short people can now push the wheel forwards or backwards to achieve a comfortable posture. The height of the roof has also changed over the past few years, because now RAMSIS has made it possible to optimise vision for tall people and help them avoid a bent posture at the same time. RAMSIS also had a great influence on safety belts – physical tests are now hardly necessary. Today, digital belt simulation is so good that it has significantly increased safety in the vehicle.

Human Solutions researches autonomous driving

RAMSIS is constantly being further developed and adapted to the changing needs of the automotive industry – and as part of this ongoing development, Human Solutions launched the INSAA research project on the role of drivers in automated vehicles on July 1, 2018. With RAMSIS, Human Solutions wants to help adapt the interior of vehicles safely and conveniently to the new requirements. With RAMSIS, Human Solutions wants to help adapt the interior of vehicles safely and conveniently to the new requirements.

More about the INSAA research project