This 9-minute video shows how the VS Browser controls the software and manages data. June 2020.

GUI, Database, and Help

Mechanical Simulation is committed to making vehicle simulation available to engineers who need to evaluate vehicle/controller behavior without spending weeks of training or relying on expensive consultants to run the software.

Easiest to Use

The VehicleSim products CarSim, TruckSim, BikeSim, and SuspensionSim are known for being suitable for casual users. Even though the math models have all the detail needed to simulate tests over the full nonlinear range of conditions, engineers can modify vehicle and test conditions and view the effects with minimal experience. At the same time, the VehicleSim technology supports advanced users who can extend the model for applications that go beyond expectations for simulation even a few years ago.

To support new users, each VehicleSim product has:

  1. A full graphical user interface (GUI) with access to all of the major parameters and nonlinear tables in the math model. For example, CarSim has over 240 custom screens, each dedicated to a part of the model.
  2. A relational database that includes example vehicles, components, test procedures, plot configurations, animations, and all types of information needed to simulate a wide range of example conditions. For example, CarSim includes over 10 distinct vehicle types, with about 80 variants, used in almost 400 example simulations.
  3. Extensive documentation, available from Help buttons and menus, on-line searching. For example, CarSim includes over 2000 pages of information in over 120 PDF files that are all indexed for rapid searching.

Graphical User Interface (GUI)

Your main connection to the software is through the VS Browser. Click a single button to make a simulated run, click other buttons to see an animation, view engineering plots, or view both (plots synchronized with video). While using the Quick Start Guide for your software package (CarSim, BikeSim, etc.), you will be making new runs and seeing their results in about an hour. For an even quicker overview, view the 9-minute video "Introduction to CarSim, Part 1" (use the link at the top of this page).

The vehicle and its properties are defined by parameters and tables that are measurable and available from a variety of sources including tests or suspension design software. The VS Browser sets the standard for minimizing the time needed to assemble a complete vehicle description with detailed math models.

Tables for Nonlinear Relationships

Many of the vehicle properties, control specifications, and road properties are described with nonlinear tables. You can select one of many possible calculation methods. Depending on your needs, choose a constant, or a linear coefficient, or a table with linear interpolation, or spline interpolation, or 2D carpet plots (calculate a dependent variable from two independent variables). There are over 15 calculation options, plus a set of options for transforming both input and output variables to reuse tables for different situations.

Tables can be generated and/or transformed with a built-in calculator, or sent to Excel with a button click for more advanced work.


The math models generate simulated time histories of hundreds of output variables. In ADAS scenarios, with many targets and sensors, there might be tens of thousands of available output variables. Besides providing motion information for animations, they can be plotted by VS Visualizer or exported to Excel or MATLAB for further analysis.

Output plots and animations are commonly inserted into reports and PowerPoint presentations.

Multiple Databases

You can have multiple databases on your computer to further organize your work. Copying a database is as simple as copying the root database folder. Any time you need another copy of the original shipping database, you can easily install a new copy using the Setup installer for the product.

Users are encouraged to use multiple databases on a computer as needed to organize vehicles, tests, and other types of data.

Help and Documentation

The documentation is provided in PDF files that can be accessed from the VS Browser or printed to provide traditional hard-copies. For example, CarSim has about 140 documents that include broad topics such as the operation of a VS Solver, along with detailed technical descriptions of model features such as tires, steering systems, controllers, etc.

Information is available from several methods at all times.

  • Right-click on most screen controls and fields for pop-up help.
  • Type F1 or click the Help button for the screen to bring up the document best matched to the current screen, with details of every control and parameter on the current screen.
  • Use the Help menu to access reference material for every screen in the VS Browser, reference manuals for major components in the VehicleSim software (the VS Browser, VS Solvers, VS Visualizer, etc.), and tech memos covering specific topics such as example applications.
  • The Help menu has an option Help > Search Help which uses Adobe Reader to search the entire collection of PDF Help documents. The Help folder is indexed, which makes the search almost instantaneous.
Databases video
This 4-minute video about installations shows how to install and manage multiple databases, and support the indexed search for the Help system. July 2020.
Help Search
Extensive documentation is available from the Help menu, including keyword search. Click to see more.
Contact Us
Subscribe to Newsletter