A project between simulation software specialist rFpro and WMG, University of Warwick, has enabled simulation to help accelerate the development of autonomous functions for last mile deliveries. As part of the project, ‘digital twins’ of complex parts of the Midlands’ road network have been created to provide identical, simulated and real-world testing conditions. The move brings the potential for autonomous last mile deliveries a step closer.
The project enables vehicle simulation results to be validated with real-world testing to ensure correlation, before further simulation and validation is varied out to refine autonomous vehicle development. The project has enabled the transport industry to validate autonomous vehicle simulations on UK public roads for the first time.
rFpro managing director, Matt Daley, said, “You cannot feasibly validate autonomous vehicles in the real world alone, there isn’t enough time or money. We must trust simulation results and so it is vital that we regularly check that they correlate with the real world. Our project enables the industry to do this on public roads for the first time in the UK. This is a big step towards the approval and adoption of autonomous vehicles.”
The digital-twin sections of the Midlands Future Mobility testbed that can be used immediately are: a road network around the University of Warwick campus; an area of Coventry town centre; and a section of Holyhead Road, one of the main routes in to and out of the town.
The routes are deemed to provide conditions that are representative of large parts of the UK and have the necessary infrastructure for autonomous testing.