As one of North America’s most renowned research institutions, UT-Austin’s Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering utilises a Cruden AS1 motion-based driver-in-the-loop simulator to add human driver input to its hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) test set-up, for research into the performance of autonomous vehicle control systems.
UT-Austin’s requirement for an automotive simulator that combined HIL and driver-in-the-loop (DIL) systems meant specifying a bespoke unit capable of rendering a multitude of driving environments and vehicle types easily and seamlessly, and as close to reality as possible. The Cruden simulator integrates with UT-Austin’s existing dSPACE SCALEXIO modular real-time hardware simulation system and the dSPACE ASM vehicle and traffic model.
The system is prepared for multi agent simulations to assess traffic scenarios with multiple ego vehicles, including their sophisticated vehicle dynamics. They can communicate with each other for V2V applications, for example. This combination of multi agent simulation and DIL simulator is an industry first that has significant potential in subjective and objective scenario examinations and for research into future mobility programs. The result is a realistic representation of real-life events with humans behind the simulator controls.
The simulator was specified in close co-operation with UT-Austin’s Director, Mobility Systems Laboratory at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Accenture Endowed Professor Junmin Wang. With the advanced specification and system flexibility to integrate any number of variables, UT-Austin expects to forge closer ties with more automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers on future research and development projects.
“The Cruden system affords us the luxury of testing and validating autonomous vehicle control systems exclusively or as part of a wider scope of research where human behaviours and interactions with these systems are repeatedly monitored and observed in real time. The flexibility and ease at which the hardware and software works together enables us to conduct repeatable and measurable research on accurate representations of the vehicles, the prevailing driving environment and numerous scenarios in which a driver may encounter,” said Professor Wang.
“UT-Austin is one of just a few universities in the United States to have a dynamic motion-based system such as this and it will enable our faculty to accelerate our research capabilities in to future autonomous technology. We need to equip our students with the knowledge and expertise that employers are already demanding. Having a specialised tool such as this, enables us to train the next generation of engineers in a connected world.
“Outside of our own department, we see the simulator benefitting studies in courses including psychology and human behavioural patterns in driving or in the medical field testing the side-effects of driver impairment all in a safe controlled environment,” concluded Professor Wang.
The installation of Cruden’s advanced simulator at UT-Austin showcases the flexibility of Cruden systems to suit the needs of virtually any operation from engineers progressing from desktop simulation through to OEMs, Tier 1s and world-class academic institutions. Our motion-based simulators bring a whole new level of accuracy for assessing vehicle dynamics, active environments and human behaviours within these innovative systems.
As part of a complete driving simulator package akin to that installed at UT-Austin, which includes high quality content, 3D rendering, motion and actual vehicle hardware, Cruden’s Panthera ADAS Toolbox offers drivers an unparalleled level of immersion that allows subconscious interaction with the ADAS system. Panthera is compatible with many advanced external ADAS development packages like Vires-VTD and TASS-PreScan and supports LiDAR-sourced scenario databases and OpenDRIVE and OpenCRG.