A consortium of 11 organisations is embarking on a UK government funded project to create a high-fidelity simulation environment, including artificial intelligence (AI) trained models of road users,to test connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).
OmniCAV, which was awarded funding as part of a competition run by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and Innovate UK, will be fed by highly detailed geospatial data, traffic camera data, accident data and near-miss analyses. These inputs will be used to create a high-fidelity model of the physical environment, realistic AI road users, and an extensive open-access scenario library.
The simulator technology will offer market-leading coverage of a diverse range of road networks including rural, peri-urban and urban roads.
OmniCAV will lay the foundations for the development of a comprehensive, robust and secure simulator, aimed at providing a certification tool for CAVs that can be used by regulatory and accreditation bodies, insurers and manufacturers to accelerate the safe development of CAVs.
The project will validate the realism of the simulator by comparing its outputs with data measured for the equivalent locations and scenarios in the real world.This will include tests on proving grounds and open roads.
The project will culminate in a CAV being put through the entire end-to-end OmniCAV testing programme, from simulator-only, to controlled environment, to on-road testing.
Through representation on international standard committees, OmniCAV’s results will influence, or lead to the creation of, new international standards to ensure safe deployment and certification of CAVs.
Kirsty Lloyd-Jukes, CEO of project lead Latent Logic, said “OmniCAV’s vision is ‘CAVs for All’: bringing safer, smarter, self-driving mobility to urban and rural areas. But first we need to know that driverless cars really can handle our challenging road conditions, on country lanes as much as crowded city streets. Virtual reality “driving tests” are the only way of doing this, which is why we’ve brought together these 11 leading organisations to build a world-first, AI-based simulation of real Oxfordshire roads to securely and reliably test autonomous car safety.”
The partners in the project are: Latent Logic (lead), Admiral, Aimsun, Arcadis, Arrival, Ordnance Survey, Oxfordshire County Council, UK Atomic Energy Authority, WMG (at the University of Warwick), and XPI Simulation. Thatcham Research is providing advice as a non-funded partner.