Virtual Proving Ground and Simulator Suite
At a glance
A 1mm surface accuracy digital twin of Millbrook’s test tracks and surfaces, including its High Speed Circuit, Mile Straight and Hill Route, is available for vehicle simulation and development and driver training.
The virtual proving ground is available on Millbrook’s on-site simulator allowing customers to simulate accurate vehicle models and then validate them instantly on the real test tracks. It can simulate a variety of weather conditions, including rain, snow, sleet, changing light, clouds and sun angles. This creates a virtual environment that is as close to real-world conditions as possible.
The virtual world can be populated by ego vehicles as well as by swarm traffic and programmed traffic. Virtual vehicles and pedestrians can share the road network following the rules of the road or displaying ad-hoc behaviour.
Human test drivers can interact with this virtual world in full-scale driving simulators, or at desktop workstations with basic steering and pedal controls. This allows drivers to test cars with ADAS systems, to be passengers in a car under the control of a fully autonomous system or to provoke emergency scenarios.
Connected Vehicle Development
The virtual proving ground is used for the development of vehicle systems in advance of prototype hardware being available. Test scenarios can be set up to assess several areas including:
- Vehicle dynamic behaviour
- Vehicle characteristics
- Steering systems
Each vehicle characteristic can be modified and tuned in the safe and secure virtual environment, with no physical risk to the driver or vehicle under test. Constant iteration can be performed without pausing testing due to weather conditions or track capacity, helping customers to minimise development cycles. The ability to test within the virtual proving ground and then immediately correlate data to the real track surfaces in the UK is unique to Millbrook.
Simulator models remain with the customers, so they can be brought back for further refinement, development and cross-checking against real vehicles, when available.
Millbrook’s virtual proving ground can be used to train drivers in circuit familiarisation. The digital twin features a comprehensive biometric assessment package, adding an extra layer of driver assessment to further increase safety. The package includes eye and head motion tracking, blink rate and ECG measurements that can be used to assess reactions to objects, monitor concentration and detect stress levels and drowsiness.
Drivers can also be trained in vehicle set up and operation.
Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) Simulation
Millbrook has uniquely integrated its virtual proving ground with highly detailed vehicle modelling software from VI-Grade, Vi-CarRealTime. The digital twin offers simulations of traffic, sensors, networks and connectivity. It can simulate Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) using either radar and cameras, or complete static vehicles.
A selection of generic vehicle models are available for demonstrations and preliminary testing. Models of LIDAR, radar and camera systems can be provided; alternatively, customers’ own digital models and hardware can be brought into the simulation.
Customer data is securely stored on site for the duration of each test. Data logs, settings and results can all be provided each day, or as part of a final test report.
The virtual proving ground is also available to customers for product demonstrations during vehicle launch events.