Archive Newsletter 2017 ()

Testing automated driving functions with an unprecedented level of detail

CarMaker and rFpro offer a solution for testing advanced driver assistance systems and automated driving functions

In vehicle development, the ability to model scenarios in the virtual world as early and with as much realism as possible is becoming more and more important. Particularly highly detailed scenes for tests of camera-based ADAS and automated driving functions are often challenging. With a new solution, we are making this process easier for our users. Instead of the time-consuming manual generation of each geometric detail, the coupling of the simulation solutions CarMaker and rFpro enables the automatic generation of real-time capable visualizations in high resolution for virtual test driving.

The best of two worlds

Our partner rFpro has extensive experience in the fields of driving simulators and detailed, realistic visualizations. In addition, the company provides precisely measured routes that are processed for the virtual world. The combination with the real-time capable, physically exact vehicle models from CarMaker allows for efficient tests of camera-based systems. Whether heavy snowfall or a light drizzle, sunrise or glare – especially weather effects, vegetation as well as visually relevant details such as surface structures on objects are crucial for the development and testing of cameras and related functions. It holds true for all systems and functions alike (e.g. traffic sign or line recognition) that the systems need to be reliable and validated using realistic test scenarios of sufficient complexity.

Easy export, realistic tests

The possible applications are many and varied, easy implementation being the quality they all share. Are you an rFpro user? Then rFpro will measure and build your requested routes as part of their engineering services. These will subsequently be exported as a ROAD5 file and integrated in CarMaker. CarMaker users have the opportunity to configure scenarios and routes in the Scenario Editor and export them to rFpro. The traffic will be controlled in CarMaker and visualized in rFpro. As a result, the complete information for the test will be available in both tools. Sensor models of radar, lidar and ultrasonic sensors as well as camera sensors can thus be tested with ease. Another great advantage: The manual labeling of frames is no longer required as rFpro enables automatic semantic segmentation, which allows for an automatic validation of algorithms.

Detailed tests thanks to more routes and more objects

Not only circuits and handling courses are available for vehicle dynamics simulations; real roads and entire road networks can now also be modeled in the virtual world. Thanks to the coupling of CarMaker and rFpro, you will be able to realistically test advanced driver assistance systems and automated driving functions on any route you desire in a wide variety of scenarios. The available level of detailing is continuously increased, for instance in order to provide even more realistic lighting effects such as light and shade, realistic material properties, or textures such as gravel or cracks in asphalt pavement. Furthermore, the 3-D object library in CarMaker is steadily expanded for a faithful modeling of a broad range of scenarios including objects blocked from view by dumpsters; animals in the street; or reflections on the vehicle or the road caused by benches, poles, etc. The releases rFpro2018a and CarMaker 7.0, both announced for early 2018, will include a variety of additional useful features.