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Volvo’s mixed-reality simulator can help improve autonomous driving, safety

Volvo’s mixed-reality simulator can help improve autonomous driving, safety. | Picture by special arrangement.  

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Volvo has developed a mixed-reality simulator to help improve driving safety and autonomous driving technology.

The Swedish company’s simulator can be used to drive a real car on real roads with the help of high-definition 3D graphics, an augmented reality (AR) headset, and a full-body Teslasuit.

“It lets us test drive actual cars in through traffic scenarios that look and feel real, but can be adjusted at the touch of a button,” Casper Wickman, Senior Leader of User Experience at Volvo, said in a statement.

Virtual and mixed reality simulations allow safe testing in real environments, without the need to build any physical prototypes. The simulator can help test car safety systems such as collision-avoiding technologies, which can be dangerous, time-consuming and expensive, in reality, according to the automaker.

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The Varjo XR-1 headset uses video cameras to provide mixed or virtual reality experience, and can seamlessly integrate the virtual objects and environments created in Unity, into the real world.

The Teslasuit allows simulation testers to physically feel small reproductions of the forces one would experience in a crash, while experiencing no actual risk.

According to Wickman, this enables Volvo to study authentic human reactions in a safe environment and at a fraction of the cost of a real test.

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Further, engineers can gain important insights on the interaction between people and the car, and apply the learnings in creating the next generation of safety systems aimed at avoiding and mitigating risky situations, the luxury carmaker noted.

This combination of software and hardware allows endless simulations of traffic scenarios, “all in total safety,” it added.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 9:58:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/volvos-mixed-reality-simulator-can-help-improve-autonomous-driving-safety/article33272351.ece

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