Element is a leading provider of specialized real-time simulation and testing services to the global transportation industry (automotive, heavy-duty truck & bus, off-highway and rail). Our experts apply real-time simulation to components, systems, and full vehicles to provide the highest quality data upon which you can depend to ensure proper functionality of your products.   

Real-time simulation is a critical part of the vehicle development process that provides valuable data for evaluating product life and identifying deficient areas in the design. Simulation also reduces test duration compared to proving ground durability schedules and is, therefore, a useful tool to accelerate time to market and minimize long-term costs. 

Be it evaluating individual components, sub-systems or full systems, Element’s engineers support you through the whole product development process. We have experience with steering systems, exhaust systems, interior systems, and suspension systems, and can perform corner module, half vehicle and full vehicle fixed reacted or inertia reacted simulation tests.

Understanding Real-Time Simulation Testing

A real-time simulation testing procedure starts by acquiring the vehicle performance, accelerations and load parameters using commercially available or custom transducers from an instrumented vehicle at a proving ground over various road surfaces. Our experts then analyze and edit these ‘raw’ data so that only the damaging portions of the road events are retained to create an edited drive file.  The information can also be used for computer model correlation activities to evaluate in service and in laboratory testing environments.  

The inputs on the selected drive files are then replicated on the test systems to closely match the responses collected from the proving ground and repeated according to customer usage profiles in order to simulate accumulated proving ground miles.

The result is an accurate and repeatable test performed in a controlled environment over a significantly short amount of time that allows for quicker product decisions.

Element’s real-time automotive simulation and testing capabilities

Element has extensive real-time simulation testing capabilities that cover not only passenger cars but also extend to a broad range of other motor vehicles, including light and heavy trucks, buses, off-highway equipment (agricultural and construction), and more.  

We utilize different types of test equipment, including Multi-Axial Simulation Tables (MAST), 4-Post road simulators, and spindle-coupled simulators (MTS 329 simulators), to test a broad range of vehicle components and systems, from chassis and suspensions to seats, interiors, cooling modules, axles, engines and powertrain systems.

Our team of simulation experts can develop comprehensive test plans tailored to fit your specific needs, from specialized engineering services to fatigue and durability to characterize material properties or component behavior during cycling loading. 

We also offer real-time simulation for testing Buzz, Squeak, and Rattle (BSR) to determine fit and wear of vehicle components as they are perceived acoustically.


To learn more about our real-time simulation testing, or to speak with one of our experts, contact us today. 

real-time simulation testing

Multi-Axial Simulation Table (MAST) Testing

Our experts provide real-time simulation testing of vehicle systems, subsystems, and a vast array of interior components using a Multi-Axial Simulation Table (MAST) providing 1 DOF through to 6 DOF excitation, with frequency to 50 Hz.  

Some of our MAST systems are installed in environmental and quiet chambers capable of conditioning the test samples from -67°C to + 117°C. In addition to the ambient environmental inputs, peripheral thermal (air, heated oil, or glycol) and applied pressure applications can be integrated into the test to provide better real-world conditions and evaluations. 

Typical test applications include:

real-time simulation testing

Tire-Coupled (4 & 6 Post) Road Simulation

Element offers 4 & 6-post simulation as an effective and inexpensive method of performing full vehicle structural durability, supporting the global automotive and military industries. We test a variety of vehicle types, from passenger cars to light trucks up to circa 11,000 lb. GVW. 

Our 4 & 6-post simulator accurately reproduces vertical road surface events out to 50 Hz. We also have the capability to provide environmental conditioning to include high and low temperatures (-40°C to + 85°C), relative humidity (up to 95%), and full spectrum solar radiation. These combined inputs provide the OEMs, Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers with an invaluable tool for advanced and ongoing development of modern vehicle systems. 

Typical test applications include:

real-time simulation testing

Multi-Axial Spindle-Coupled Road Simulation

Element’s laboratories are equipped with multi-axial road simulators to provide durability testing of full or partial vehicle systems via simulation of proving ground-measured responses, random/sine inputs, or generic drive-file responses. 

Our test systems allow testing a variety of vehicle types, from passenger cars to light trucks up to approximately 11,000 lb. GVW. Our expertise in real-time simulation within the transportation and automotive industries enables us to test different systems, from frame, suspension, and body to many partial vehicle systems, including front/rear suspension, and suspension to frame interface. 

We also perform corner module and half car simulation tests as an alternative to full vehicle simulation when preliminary results are required early in the development process.

Typical test applications include:


Our team of over 6,700 Engaged Experts in North America, Europe, The Middle East, Australia, Asia and Africa are ready to help you.