Millbrook simulator allows real connected vehicles to be tested in virtual world

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Millbrook, the UK automotive testbed, has officially opened its new unique simulation suite – the Vehicle-in-the-Loop (VIL) simulator – that can put real vehicles into the virtual world. Applications include connected vehicle (V2X) testing, and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

Millbrook specified, built and commissioned its unique simulation suite as part of its 5G testbed, combining its virtual proving ground with highly detailed vehicle modelling software, enabling Millbrook to support customers’ vehicle development within virtual and blended environments.

As well as being used for designing, developing and testing ADAS and V2X, it can also be used to determine vehicle road safety, develop artificial intelligence, test infotainment packages and validate intelligent energy systems on electric powertrains for battery and thermal management.

Millbrook provides a flexible, connected environment, to cover offline, real-time, and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulations for real-world correlation. The digital twin of its proving ground provides simulations of vehicle dynamics, terrain, traffic, sensors, networks and connectivity. It uses real radar and camera sensors, or complete on-board sensors with static vehicles.

“The addition of our new VIL simulator means we can now put real vehicles into virtual environments. Our 5G capability provides excellent connectivity on-site and allows manufacturers to measure vehicle performance in a more controlled, simulated environment, before heading out on our test tracks. Actual track results can be replayed via the simulator and weather and traffic can be safely changed, while users interact with real sensors.” says Peter Stoker, chief engineer for connected and autonomous vehicles at Millbrook

Complimentary to Millbrook’s Driver-in-the-Loop system and biometric sensors, the VIL simulation interacts with high fidelity track models. The simulation suite utilises Millbrook’s high-speed fibre, 4G LTE and 5G private network, and a modular simulation architecture.

Models of the vehicle and its actuators and sensors, radar and camera systems can be provided or customers’ own digital models and hardware can be brought into the simulation. A selection of generic vehicle models are available for demonstrations and preliminary testing. Millbrook’s virtual proving ground is also available to customers for product demonstrations during vehicle launch events.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs in charge of public agencies around the world as well as chairmen and CEOs of multinational transportation technology corporations. Tom's early career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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