Smart simulation will speed up safe deployment of CAV technology

  • VeriCAV project will explore how simulated environments can support the development of self-driving technology
  • Simulated and physical ‘smart actors’ will rigorously test CAVs to give further peace of mind before deployment.

Verification of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (VeriCAV), a new connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) project exploring how simulated environments can support the development of self-driving technology, has launched its website today.

The VeriCAV project is developing an integrated test framework to allow Automated Driving Systems (ADS’s) to be validated in simulation, exposing them to large numbers of complex driving situations such that developers and regulators can have real confidence in their reliability and safety when deployed on the roads. The project will go beyond scenario-based testing to a paradigm where optimal test cases are generated from the space of all possible situations.

Running real-world vehicle safety tests is time consuming, resource heavy, and expensive. Simulation opens the doors to very large numbers of scenarios including multi-layered and uncommon situations.

Chris Reeves, Head of CAV Technologies, HORIBA MIRA Ltd., said, “There is a transformation taking place in the automotive sector. This transformation is being driven by the trend towards ever-increasing levels of connectivity and automation to the point where the industry is now talking in terms of the car being your biggest consumer electronic purchase.”

“This transformation is opening up huge commercial opportunities. It’s not, however, without major technical challenges in product development and the need to determine the efficacy of these systems using industry best practice test and validation processes. Simulation and modelling techniques and the creation of ‘digital twins’ will be critical in speeding up and reducing the cost of product development.”

The VeriCAV simulation will mean significantly improving test efficiency when evaluating countless driving scenarios. Simultaneously it can replicate the behaviour and actions of obstacles in a realistic and consistent manner, utilising the latest in ‘smart actor’ physical and simulated technology.

Smart actors will represent other vehicles and pedestrians that interact with the ADS. Sophisticated decision-making actors within a virtual test environment do not currently exist in any commercial product, yet they are central to injecting real-world variability into tests that do not rely on human involvement.

Connected Places Catapult COO, Neil Fulton, added, “We’re delighted to be a part of this ground-breaking project, which brings together a world-leading engineering and test facility, the best of British SME innovation, plus renowned UK academic expertise, to revolutionise how CAVs are tested and implemented. This could be a game-changer; advanced simulation can help all sectors involved in introducing driverless cars to the roads understand the challenges and discover the solutions so that our future transport system is safe, efficient, environmentally- and user-friendly.”

Led by HORIBA MIRA, VeriCAV consortium partners include: Latent Logic, Aimsun, the University of Leeds, and Connected Places Catapult.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels.