Ordnance Survey to build AI-based simulation model for testing AV safety

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Ordnance Survey (OS) is one of 11 partners in OmniCAV, a US$5m (£3.9m) project to develop a world-first artificial intelligence-based simulation model for testing autonomous car safety.

The simulation environment will feature a 32km circuit of roads in Oxfordshire in the UK, covering rural, urban and main roads and intersections. The simulation will be used to create and run different scenarios for the safe testing of CAVs, and will support certification bodies, insurers and manufacturers.

OS will lead the capture, processing and serving of geospatial high-resolution mapping data. This will include 3D geometry and information about the roadside assets and their characteristics, so that data standards and requirements can be developed for the real-world deployment and operation of CAVs.

OS used similar techniques in projects such as CityVerve, the UK’s IoT demonstrator, and in the use of the UK town of Bournemouth as a test case to produce a 5G planning and roll-out tool.

OS will also draw on the experience of its Atlas and E-Cave initiatives that are helping the government shape a national infrastructure capable of supporting a nationwide network of CAVs.

Miranda Sharp, head of innovation at Ordnance Survey, said, “OmniCAV is one of a number of UK government-sponsored projects that supports the position of the UK as the best place in the world for autonomous vehicle testing.

“Building on the unique strengths of OS capability and data, the aim for OmniCAV is to help accelerate the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles on UK roads by permitting testing in linked versions of the real-world environment and a digital one.

“To achieve the CAV ambition, geospatial data is key. Not just to the creation of a realistic simulation environment to test in, but also to the eventual deployment of a new infrastructure to enable improved connectivity and mobility.

“It’s an exciting time for technology and innovation and we’re looking forward to working with our partners and helping make the UK a world leader in this area.”

The OmniCAV project is part of a wider US$15.5m (£12.1m) UK government funding package to support the development and nation-wide deployment of driverless cars.

Kirsty Lloyd-Jukes, CEO of project lead Latent Logic, said, “OmniCAV’s vision is ‘CAVs for all’: bringing safer, smarter, self-driving mobility for urban and rural areas. But first we need to know that driverless cars really can handle our challenging road conditions, on country lanes as much as crowded city streets.

“Virtual reality ‘driving tests’ are the only way of doing this, which is why we’ve brought together these 11 leading organizations to build a world-first, AI-based simulation of real Oxfordshire roads to securely and reliably test autonomous car safety.”

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Rachel's career in journalism began around five years ago when she started working for UKi Media & Events, having recently graduated from Coventry University where she studied the subject. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the groundbreaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of the automotive and tire industries.

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