Traffic Simulators and Virtual Environments

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are occupying an increasingly important role in data collection while educating the public when dealing with driving and pedestrian behaviors. TRANSMART is leveraging such tools to generate artificial synthetic data to reproduce both mobility and safety measures encountered in the real-world. In particular, a Unity Engine-based environment is developed and integrated with behavioral and physical models that reproduce collision involvement rates and congestion as a function of surrounding roadway traffic conditions.

As a first step, traffic data and Google© Street View are utilized to create the background images. Second, TRANSMART integrates such images into the Unity Engine. Third, the engine is supplemented by VR and control modules transforming it into a high-fidelity traffic simulator. The simulator offers two modes:

  1. High-fidelity traffic simulation: the simulator provides the environment for the integration of any car-following, lane-changing, and vehicle dynamics (powertrain and chassis) models.

  2. Driving simulator: the simulator provides the capability of engaging drivers. The driver has immediate access to information such as their vehicle’s speed (in miles per hour) and turning angle (degrees) as well as two rear-view screens on either side of the vehicle.