UK-based technology firm 3D Repo is developing 3D virtual reality technology that will help simulate driverless vehicle routes.

The technology is being developed as part of the UK government’s £100m research project.    

The project is being led by TRL and is part of the Smart Mobility Living Lab in London.

The lab offers a real-life environment to develop, evaluate and integrate connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) with the local community.

TRL Engineering and Technology director Paul Zanelli said: “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.

“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.”

3D Repo has combined its cloud-based building information modelling (BIM) software with the virtual reality (VR) headsets, enabling the Living Lab visitors to explore the local transport environment.

"This is having a significant impact on driving forward the understanding of how CAVs will behave."

The simulator offers the potential for developing and testing CAV mobility services such as communication, physical, digital, vehicle and control centre infrastructure.

3D Repo CEO Jozef Dobos said: “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.

“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.”

Image: 3D Repo to develop 3D Virtual Reality visualisations for autonomous cars. Photo: courtesy of 3D Repo.