The project, led by Latent Logic of Oxford and called OmniCAV, received funding as part of a competition run by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and Innovate UK, and it will work on the basis of feeding highly detailed scans of real roads, traffic camera data, accident data and near-miss data to create a high-fidelity model of real life roads, populated by AI road users, building an open-access library of VR simulator scenarios to test CAVs.

The objective is to eventually provide robust certification for CAVs that can be used by regulatory and accreditation bodies, insurers and manufacturers to speed up the safe development of CAVs. This means that CAVs will be out through the entire end-to-end OmniCAV testing process from simulator only, to a controlled environment and then to on-road testing.

The project, through representation at international standard committees, will help to formulate international standards to ensure the safe deployment and certification of CAVs.

Professor Paul Jennings of Head of Intelligent Vehicles at WMG and WMGs principal investigator on the OmniCAV project said:

”At WMG we have long believed that simulation will play a key role in the testing and certification of CAVs. Our 3xD simulator provides a platform with which to bridge the virtual world and real world and since its commissioning in 2016 has played a vital role in our research strategy. Scenario identification and virtual validation are still major challenges for the CAV industry.”

“In OmniCAV, we have a diverse and capable set of partners to advance the current state of knowledge , enabling the safe deployment of CAVs to provide benefits for us all.”

The CEO and project lead at Latent Logic, Kirsty LLoyd-Jones, added:

”OmniCAV’s vision is ‘CAVs for all’: bringing safer, smarter, self-driving mobility to urban and rural areas. But fiirst we need to know that driverless cars can really 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 have brought together these 11 leading organisations to build a world-first, AI based simulation of real Oxfordshire roads to securely and reliably test autonomous care safety.”

The other partners in the project are: Latent Logic, WMG, Admiral, Aimsun, Arcadis, Arrival, Ordnance Survey, Oxforshshire County Council, UK Atomic Energy Agency and XPi Simulation. Thatcham Research is providing advice as a non-funded partner.