Virtual testing of autonomous vehicles

New technology enables cars to become more and more independent. Today, fully autonomous vehicles are ever more developed. However, the same way as humans need assistance in order to reach maturity, cars also need professional guidance during the development process until they become fully independent. The way in which vehicles equipped with advanced technology move, may be observed in reality – yet the examination of their behaviour in the field is a costly and time-consuming endeavour allowing to only test a limited number of scenarios. Virtual testing with a microscopic traffic simulation offers a cost-effective and efficient alternative.

Virtual reality in PTV Vissim

PTV Vissim, the world’s leading multimodal microscopic simulation software, enables car manufacturers to virtually evaluate the behaviour of any level of automated vehicles in a thorough manner. Applying PTV Vissim, means being able to create a comprehensive virtual testing environment representing the real world: Through the software’s capability to simulate all modes of transport depicting their very own motion characteristics and their mutual interaction, users can not only examine the driving behaviour of autonomous vehicles but also their impact on the entire traffic flow.

Testing of any possible scenario

Whether testing the behaviour of autonomous vehicles in the context of city traffic during rush hour or on motorways with or without speed limits – PTV Vissim provides car manufacturers with a powerful set of functionalities to conduct virtual reality tests for any situation possible. With the provision of ready-to-use standard and customisable traffic scenarios, the software enables users to take into account all local conditions such as street or road types in all cities around the world – whether it be Paris, New York City, Rio de Janeiro or Tokyo. Even the evaluation of extreme scenarios where weather conditions such as rain, fog or even snow might need to be considered in the simulation is possible, thus proving PTV Vissim to be a valuable testing environment and as realistic as testing in the real world.

System integration

PTV Vissim can be fully integrated with other vehicle development tools like vehicle dynamics simulators. With a number of interfaces, the simulation tool is a perfect fit for any other application used for the testing of autonomous vehicles, as well as specialised software solutions like sensor simulation.

Source: Adapted from SAE Standard J3016 (SAE, 2014)