Key Features

  • Common gear configuration models, including planetary, differential, and worm gears with meshing and viscous losses
  • Clutch models, including cone, disk friction, unidirectional, and dog clutch
  • Vehicle component models, including engine, tire, torque converter, and vehicle dynamics models
  • Models of translational elements, including leadscrew, rack and pinion, and translational friction
  • Ideal and nonideal model variants, enabling adjustment of model fidelity
  • Ability to extend component libraries using the Simscape language
  • Ability to specify units for parameters and variables, with automatic unit conversion
  • Support for C-code generation from SimDriveline models (with Simulink Coder)

Modeling a Vehicle Powertrain 4:28
Model a vehicle powertrain, including gears, tires, engine, and longitudinal vehicle dynamics.

You can use SimDriveline to optimize system-level performance and to create plant models for control design. The models you create support your entire development process, including hardware-in-the-loop simulations.

Cross-section of dual clutch transmission and associated SimDriveline model.
Cross-section of dual clutch transmission (top) and associated SimDriveline model. The colored blocks correspond to gears and the dog clutches that control gear selection.

Modeling Drivetrain Systems

SimDriveline provides libraries of one-dimensional mechanical components. You can connect components, such as planetary gears, clutches, and brakes, to model your mechanical system. The models you create can be grouped into subsystems, making them easier to read and reuse.

Modeling a Ratchet Mechanism with Leadscrew 5:11
Model a ratchet mechanism driving a leadscrew. The screw turns in one direction and the leadscrew cannot be back-driven by the mechanical load.

In addition to the traditional input-output or signal flow connections used in Simulink®, SimDriveline uses physical connections that permit the flow of power in any direction. Models built using physical connections (also referred to as acausal models) closely resemble the physical system they represent, and are easier to understand and share with others.

SimDriveline libraries: clutches, couplings, gears and tires.
SimDriveline libraries (clockwise from top left): clutches, couplings, gears, and tires.

Many of the component models in SimDriveline let you adjust the level of fidelity. You can choose to include or neglect certain effects, such as meshing and viscous losses, and as a result, balance the tradeoff between model fidelity and simulation speed.

Dialog box for SimDriveline simple gear model.
Dialog box for SimDriveline simple gear model.  You can select the fidelity level of the friction model.

Creating Custom Components

You can add components from other physical modeling products to your SimDriveline model. The foundation library in Simscape contains blocks in other physical domains, such as electrical, hydraulic, and thermal. Integrating these domains into your SimDriveline model using physical connections helps expand your model's range of effects.

Simscape Language: Mechanical Example 3:42
Model custom mechanical components using the Simscape™ language. A nonlinear translational spring is defined using implicit equations.

The Simscape language, an object-oriented language that is based on MATLAB®, enables you to create your own physical modeling components and libraries. You can define custom components, complete with parameterization, physical connections, and equations represented as acausal implicit differential algebraic equations (DAEs). Within your component’s Simscape language file you can use MATLAB to analyze parameter values, perform preliminary computations, and initialize system variables. The Simulink block and dialog box for your custom component are automatically created from the file.

Simscape language file used to create a custom gear box. The file automatically generates a Simulink Gear Box block and dialog box.
Simscape language file (left) used to create a custom gear box. The file automatically generates a Simulink Gear Box block and dialog box.

Simulating Drivetrain Systems

You can combine SimDriveline models with Simulink control system models for dynamic simulation. The simulations can be run on your desktop (variable step) or in a real-time environment (fixed step). Every aspect of your simulation can be automated using scripts in MATLAB, including configuring the model, entering simulation settings, and arranging sets of simulations.

Maximizing Fuel Economy 1:48
Speed up the process of tuning shift schedule calibrations using optimization algorithms and parallel computing.


You can use optimization algorithms to automatically tune parameters in simulation. This approach enables you, for example, to find designs that minimize weight or minimize fuel consumption. To accelerate optimization tasks and other design studies that require many simulations, you can use Parallel Computing Toolbox to distribute your SimDriveline simulations across multiple cores or a cluster of computers.

Shorten Parameter Sweeps with Parallel Computing 3:33
Run simulations in parallel on a multicore desktop. Various shift schedules for a dual-clutch transmission are tested in multiple simulations executed simultaneously.

Analyzing Drivetrain Systems

All of the data from your SimDriveline model can be saved automatically to the MATLAB workspace. Using MATLAB, the results of your simulation can be analyzed, plotted, animated, and saved into many different file formats. You can perform tasks such as analyzing the frequency response of the powertrain, comparing simulation runs to improve fuel economy, and verifying the timing of clutch events during the simulation. When combined with Simulink Report Generator, the results of SimDriveline simulations can be automatically saved in a report, along with screenshots of the model, plots, and other information.

Analyzing and Documenting Results 4:01
Automatically run tests and generate a report documenting simulation results.

Performing Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) Simulations

SimDriveline models can be configured specifically for real-time simulation and converted to C code, enabling you to perform HIL tests. Many components in SimDriveline can be configured to use abstracted behavioral models, ideal for real-time simulation. Using Simscape local solvers, you can speed up your simulation by using a fixed-step solver for your physical system and independently choosing a different solver for the rest of your model.

Solver configuration for dual-clutch transmission model.
Solver configuration for dual-clutch transmission model. A stiff fixed-step solver is used for the physical system (shaded pink) and an independent fixed-step solver is used for the rest the model (shaded blue).

You can generate C code from your SimDriveline models using Simulink Coder. The generated code can be used to run HIL simulations on real-time processors that interface directly with hardware. This enables you to test your control algorithms without relying on hardware prototypes.

Simulating In Real Time: Hybrid Electric Vehicle 4:32
Configure multiple, independent solvers to enable real-time simulation. The model of a hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV) is simulated on a real-time target.

Deploying Drivetrain Models

You can deploy SimDriveline models using code generated with Simulink Coder. The generated code lets you:

  • Build stand-alone executables of SimDriveline models that can be integrated into C programs or other MATLAB and Simulink models
  • Run HIL simulations by deploying SimDriveline plant models onto real-time processors that interface directly with hardware
  • Improve simulation speed by compiling the C code
  • Share models without exposing your intellectual property

Sharing Models

You can share SimDriveline models with Simscape users who have not purchased SimDriveline. Simscape users can view, simulate, and change parameter values in SimDriveline models by leveraging the Simscape Editing Mode. As a result, your team can share SimDriveline models with a larger group of engineers who use Simscape.

Sharing Models Using Simscape Editing Mode 3:32
Share models without requiring licenses for Simscape™ add-on libraries. Open models in Restricted Mode and perform tasks such as simulation, parameter tests, and code generation.

Working with SimDriveline Models
Task Model Developer
(Purchases Simscape and SimDriveline)
Model User
(Purchases Simscape)
Log data or change visualization
Change numerical parameters
Generate code with Simulink Coder
Change block parameterization options  
Make or break physical connections  

Try SimDriveline

Get trial software

Physical Modeling with Simscape

View webinar