Software tools provider Applied Intuition acquires the company behind CarSim

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In a deal that underscores the ever-closer ties between Silicon Valley and Detroit, the software tools provider Applied intuition acquired vehicle dynamics specialist Mechanical Simulation Corp.

The transaction marries one of the best-known startups working on software tools for driver assistance systems and autonomous driving with one known to automakers and suppliers for making highly accurate projections of how vehicles actually behave.

The companies announced the transaction on Monday. Terms were not disclosed.

The flagship of mechanical simulation CarSim software is used by 7 of the top 10 automakers, according to the company. The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based company also manufactures simulation-supporting products for trucks, motorcycles, and powertrains.

Executives at Applied Intuition, based in Mountain View, Calif., say it’s a perfect complement to their own simulation software and tools, which speed up the development of driver assistance systems and autonomous driving in transport, defence, agriculture and mining.

Discussions about a possible partnership began months ago. As they continued, Applied Intuition executives decided they wanted to pursue a full-fledged acquisition instead.

“We admired their work,” said Applied Intuition CEO Qasar Younis. Automotive News. “No one has vehicle dynamics at this level. What they did was not something that a group of engineers could develop over months or even years.”

The acquisition gives Applied Intuition a footprint in the greater Detroit area and adds about 30 employees to an existing team, according to Younis, of a few hundred. Applied Intuition’s customers include automakers such as Toyota, Daimler and General Motors, as well as self-driving technology companies such as Torc Robotics and Motional.

While today’s driver assistance systems primarily offer braking, next-generation systems will offer both braking and more evasive steering maneuvers when critical safety events occur.

Applied Intuition Chief Technology Officer Peter Ludwig said the acquisition positions the company to further strengthen its expertise in helping developers control vehicle performance in these extreme scenarios, as well as in simulation and simulation. checking the electric powertrain.

“This is truly a watershed moment for Applied,” he said. “These guys bring a lot of value. They have extremely precise measurements. They literally wrote the book on vehicle dynamics.”

This is not hyperbole. Tom Gillespie, one of the co-founders of Mechanical Simulation, wrote the book Fundamentals of vehicle dynamics, published by SAE. He founded the company in 1996 with Mike Sayers, eliminating technology from the work the two conducted at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Younis and Ludwig, who co-founded Applied Intuition in 2017, both have ties to Michigan. Younis grew up in the Detroit area and worked for GM before moving to Bosch. He then became a partner and then COO at Y Combinator. Ludwig graduated from the University of Michigan, then worked at Nvidia, Microsoft and Google before co-founding Applied Intuition.

In November, the company raised $175 million in its Series D funding round, which valued Applied Intuition at $3.6 billion. The company counts former GM CEO Rick Wagoner and former Daimler AG chairman Dieter Zetsche among its advisory board members.

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