MSL Grange Motors Mercedes Benz
First Car Dealership to Embrace Automotive Simulation Technology
MSL Grange Motors have become the first car dealership in Ireland to adopt automotive simulation technology to help them run their business. Brian Downes, General Manager at the long established Mercedes Benz car dealership has been the driving force behind an innovative scheme during the COVID 19 pandemic, at a time when not just team moral, but global moral is in need of a boost. MSL Grange Motors have installed a state-of-the art driving simulator at their Pottery Road headquarters and are using it initially as part of a unique team-building exercise..
The simulator, supplied by Digital Motorsports is being used as a staff training tool, where the goal is not sell more cars, but to help the team become racing drivers! MSL Grange Motors have entered a team into a 6 hour endurance motor race which will be held at Mondello Park International Racing Circuit in Kildare this November. The simulator, which is highly customisable has been set up to replicate the Ford Fiesta race car that is used in this one-make endurance race and the staff at MSL are taking part in a series of challenges to build a winning race team.
The team will of course need drivers but also mechanics, strategists, logistics, catering and a team manager. Having competed in this race ourselves back in 2017 we can attest to the level of planning, preparation and strategy that is required to be successful in this gruelling and hard fought race
Don't be fooled into thinking this is some Mickey-Mouse event because the cars involved are cheap and cheerful...far from it. This event brings out the cream of Motorsport talent from Ireland and overseas and the grid will be made up of national and international champions and even ex F1 drivers!
So the challenge for the team at MSL Grange Motors is real. Drivers who show the most potential on the simulator will go on to real-world tests at Mondello Park and will eventually be whittled down to a team of 3 or 4 drivers for the event. Endurance racing is not just about outright speed and driving talent, it's about consistency, mechanical sympathy and staying out of trouble.
Using a 3D model of the Mondello Park circuit, created by the team at Digital Motorsports, the simulator is being used to emulate endurance stints and can simulate tyre wear, fuel usage and vehicle damage. When combined with real-world data, this allows the team to figure out when pit stops are likely to be needed, how much fuel they will use, which drivers can maintain consistency and which drivers stay cool under pressure. All of this helps the team to figure out who works well in which role....as well as it being a whole lot of fun!
Once the race is over the option is available to further modify the simulator to be used on the showroom floor, in conjunction with VR technology and the Mercedes 3D AR App to help showcase the Mercedes Benz product range. Customers and prospective buyers can experience their vehicle of choice in a completely new way. In addition to choosing the classic configuration features, the app’s scanning function makes it possible to realistically integrate the configuration into the desired surroundings. Moreover, the vehicle of choice can be virtually driven in the chosen mode, rotated by 360 degrees and positioned and scaled. This can also be done for the interior and an all-round interior view. Another highlight is the high-resolution depiction of all interior and exterior components. This means that e.g. the surface pores of fabrics and materials used on even the smallest parts can be realistically shown.