Our new pedestrian simulation system enables valuable data acquisition for future traffic interaction between pedestrians and autonomous vehicles.
Autonomous vehicles will impact the dynamic of traffic. This is especially true in the case of pedestrian-car interaction. To ensure road safety, scientific studies are conducted to analyze behavioral patterns of pedestrians in city traffic. To support Continental’s research project, NMY was approached to develop a pedestrian simulator system.
How will pedestrians cope with city traffic in the future, if they have no way of making eye contact with drivers? How will they communicate with cars in order to cross the street safely? What does a viable concept for external displays for autonomous cars look like? And what does that mean for automobile manufacturers, suppliers, and legislation? The aim of the project was to find answers to these questions.
For our client Continental, we developed the Pedestrian Simulator simulation system featuring a virtual reality application and an operator panel. The Continental operator presets a specific traffic configuration that requires pedestrians to move about in realistic street situations and interact with autonomous vehicles. Continental transfers test people to a virtual environment that mimics a real street in Frankfurt, Germany. Test people are invited to interact with their virtual surroundings that feel real enough to simulate behavioral patterns in the application. This type of data acquisition reduces the need for resources, allows for flexibility and is safe at the same time - a clear benefit of introducing virtual reality to scientific simulation systems.
Pedestrian Simulator is funded by the Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi) as part of the ”Automated Cars and Intelligent Traffic in the City - Automatisierte Fahrfunktionen (@CITY-AF)” project, thus supporting scientific research in the field of autonomous driving in cities.