The autonomous vehicle company, Motional, has open-sourced its nuReality set of virtual reality environments designed to observe interactions between autonomous vehicles and pedestrians. The company aims to assist the research community by sharing its technology.
A principal challenge to mainstream adoption of autonomous vehicles is the effective exchange of information between AVs and other road users. The company created several VR environments using CHRLX animation studio to study such situations. It has developed 10 VR scenarios modeled after an urban 4-way intersection.
It uses two vehicle models in VR environments for experimentation. One is a conventional, human-driven vehicle, and the other is an autonomous vehicle without a human in control. The cars represent a white 2019 Chrysler Pacifica with some differences between the two. The AV features a side mirror and roof-mounted LiDAR sensors.
“By making nuReality open source, we hope these VR files will accelerate research into pedestrian-AV interactions and Expressive Robotics,” said Paul Paul Schmitt, Principal Engineer for planning, controls, drive-by-wire architecture at Motional. “It’s like the old saying: If you want to go fast, go alone. But, if you want to go far, go together.”
The company is a $4 billion joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv. It is actively working towards introducing a driverless robotaxi service in Las Vegas by 2023. Its AVs use a combination of sensors, including advanced LiDAR, cameras, and radar that see up to 300 meters away and 360 degrees around the vehicle.
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