As part of a US $130 million (£100 million) research project backed by the UK government, a company named 3D Repo is creating 3D Virtual Reality visualisations to help simulate driverless vehicle routes. Led by Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), the project is part of the Smart Mobility Living Lab, located in Greenwich, London.The Living Lab provides a real-life environment where Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) can be developed, evaluated and integrated with the local community.
3D Repo’s cloud-based Building Information Modelling (BIM) collaboration software combines with the latest Virtual Reality (VR) headsets, so enabling visitors to the Living Lab to explore the local transport environment from the convenience of an 11th floor office. Designed to showcase advances in online BIM projects and 3D visualisation techniques in the context of autonomous vehicle transportation, the 3D Repo simulator offers the potential for developing and testing CAV mobility services, including communication, physical, digital, vehicle and control centre infrastructure.
“The Smart Mobility Living Lab gives us a real opportunity to understand, validate and test new technologies, from automotive OEMs to new technology providers entering the market,” commented Paul Zanelli, Director of Engineering and Technology at TRL. “This is a really exciting space and there are a lot of unknowns – from a political perspective, an insurance perspective and also from a technology perspective – so we need to take steps to test in a dynamic environment to understand how these technologies will be implemented.”
“The inclusion of cloud based BIM within the Smart Mobility Living Lab demonstrates just how far the technology, with 3D Repo at the forefront of its development and deployment, has come” commented Dr Jozef Dobos, CEO of 3D Repo. “Through the use of VR headsets, we are able to provide interactive access to real world environments, complete with information contained within complex databases and 3D models. This is having a significant impact on driving forward the understanding of how CAVs will behave, and their interaction with the urban environment and its other users.”