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Simulated road users help create CAV testing environment

A consortium of 11 organisations are involved in the UK government-funded project

The project will include tests on proving grounds and open roads
The project will include tests on proving grounds and open roads

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.


Model of real-world roads


These inputs will be used to create a high-fidelity model of real-world roads, which will be populated with realistic artificial intelligence (AI) based road users. OmniCAV will also create an extensive open-access library of VR simulator scenarios to test CAV against.


The simulator technology will offer coverage of a diverse range of road networks including rural, peri-urban and urban roads.


The project aims to lay the foundations for the development of a comprehensive, robust and secure simulator, aimed at providing a certification tool for CAV that can be used by regulatory and accreditation bodies, insurers and manufacturers to accelerate the safe development of CAV.


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. It 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.


“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,” added Kirsty Lloyd-Jukes, CEO of Latent Logic.


“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.”

“OmniCAV’s vision is ’CAVs for all’: bringing safer, smarter, self-driving mobility to urban and rural areas”

Through representation on international standard committees, OmniCAV’s results will seek to influence, or lead to the creation of, new international standards to ensure safe deployment and certification of CAV.


“We are excited to be part of this compelling project, working in collaboration with a best-in-class team and drawing on our extensive experience in traffic modelling to generate and demonstrate the value of the OmniCAV innovative solution to help realise the societal and economic benefits from CAV adoption,” said Tim Strong, transport innovation director and Arcadis’ OmniCAV project director.


Arcadis, for instance, will support the development and implementation of the Aimsun traffic model that lies at the heart of OmniCAV, and which is designed to accelerate testing of the reliability and safety of CAV technology.


The partners in the project, led by Latent Logic, are: 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.

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