ANSYS acquires OPTIS for autonomous vehicle simulation

7 May 2018

With the completed acquisition of optical simulation leader OPTIS, ANSYS now delivers the industry's most comprehensive solution for simulating autonomous vehicles. By adding OPTIS' optical sensor and closed-loop, real-time simulation to ANSYS's leading multiphysics portfolio, ANSYS offers the broadest toolset for validating the safety and reliability of autonomous vehicles — speeding time to market for these vehicles by mitigating the need for billions of miles of road testing. 

The leading provider of software for scientific simulation of light, human vision and physics-based visualization, OPTIS delivers physics-based optical simulation solutions. With OPTIS, ANSYS capabilities now span the simulation of all sensors, including lidar, cameras and radar; the multiphysics simulation of physical and electronic components; the analysis of systems functional safety; as well as the automated development of safety-certified embedded software. This functionality can be integrated into a closed-loop simulation environment that interacts with weather and traffic simulators, enabling thousands of driving scenarios to be executed virtually.

The financial impact of autonomous vehicles is enormous, with analysts predicting this emerging technology will boost the global economy by $7 trillion. But the impact on human life is even more significant: autonomous vehicles have the potential to drastically reduce traffic accidents, saving more than 600,000 lives annually. Before they drive the highways in large numbers though, autonomous vehicles must first be proven safe through rigorous testing in complex driving environments, including boundless road conditions and weather scenarios. This would require billions of miles of physical road tests. The acquisition of OPTIS enables ANSYS to provide a faster, safer and more economical solution than physical testing of autonomous vehicles.

“More than 90 percent of automotive accidents are caused by human error, and autonomous vehicles have the potential to virtually eliminate accidents,” said Eric Bantegnie, vice president and general manager, ANSYS. “By providing the most accurate and comprehensive multidisciplinary and cross-functional simulation technology on the market, ANSYS – along with OPTIS technology – will help bring safe, reliable autonomous vehicles to market sooner, reducing automotive accidents and deaths.”

“As the industry races to develop safe autonomous vehicles, a comprehensive sensor solution is critical to autonomous vehicle development,” said Jacques Delacour, OPTIS president and CEO. “Joining ANSYS enables us to provide the best radar, lidar and camera simulation in the market within one toolset. Together we will significantly speed the development of autonomous vehicles.” 

OPTIS has developed a photo-realistic virtual reality and closed-loop simulation platform, which will help speed the development of autonomous vehicles. Using this VR backbone – combined with other ANSYS solutions – automotive manufacturers can simulate the environment driverless vehicles are navigating, including road conditions, weather and one-way streets. ANSYS' pervasive simulation solutions will be used to drive virtual autonomous vehicles in realistic simulated environments. Using accurate models to replicate real-life vehicle encounters, autonomous vehicles can be driven for millions of miles in a virtual environment in a single day. 

Beyond the autonomous vehicle sector, the acquisition reinforces ANSYS as a world-class simulation provider across various industries and verticals. Incorporating vision-integrated tools with ANSYS' existing solutions have enormous potential to transform customer offerings.   

“ANSYS' leading multiphysics analysis coupled with OPTIS' optical capabilities will drive eLumigen's next-generation solutions with a multiphysics approach to optical simulation solutions,” said Mahendra Dassanayake, chief technology officer, eLumigen. “eLumigen is an existing customer of both ANSYS and OPTIS, the acquisition will further spur innovation and enable us to jumpstart the competition.”

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