On the 25th of April 2017, a special seminar on “Advanced Simulation for Autonomous Vehicles and Smart Transportation” was held at the Automotive Innovation Centre in Shanghai. This seminar addressed the state-of-the-art in the development and application of simulation models and tools for the assessment of human behaviour and human-system interaction in automotive design and traffic research, from the perspective of academia, government and automotive industry. Distinguished Chinese and Dutch speakers shared their experiences and insights, presenting practical applications and best practices. This included innovative technologies developed in Dutch academia that are revolutionizing vehicle design and traffic modelling and are ready for exploitation by Chinese partners.
Advanced Simulation for Autonomous Vehicles and Smart Transportation
Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input. It is expected that AVs will improve safety, significantly contribute to the optimization of traffic flow, help to reduce air pollutions, and enhance the mobility of vulnerable people. However, the stability and reliability of AVs are still the key issues need to be tested and verified. These authors are organized through a multi-phased approach including simulation test bed development, test bed demonstration and evaluation with stakeholders, testbed modifications from evaluations, and Development of an experimental plan.
During this seminar Dutch and Chinese speakers from academia discussed how the advanced simulations can test the stability and reliability of AVs. The following speakers from companies and knowledge institutes presented their ideas, simulation methods and practical applications:
- Moderator: Prof. dr. Huizhao Tu, Tongji University, College of Transportation Engineering, Shanghai, China
Biography: Prof. dr. Huizhao Tu received the B.Sc. degree in civil engineering and the M. Eng. degree in transportation engineering from Tongji University, China, the Ph.D. degree in Transport & Planning from Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. He is currently a full associate professor with College of Transportation Engineering, at Tongji University, China. He was with Department of Transport & Planning, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, where he was a Researcher from 2003 to 2008. His research interests include intelligent connected vehicles, transport risk management, network reliability analysis, emergency traffic management, travel behaviour analysis.
- Prof. dr. ir. Hans van Lint, Department of Transport & Planning, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands: “Getting human factors in traffic simulation models”
Traffic flow theory is the discipline that develops mathematical models to describe and explain traffic operations. The paradox is that from the onset of this field in the 30s-50s until today these models describe ideal collision-free behaviour, the sort of behavior we would like to see from automated vehicles. Now that vehicle automation on our streets becomes a reality, we need to start understanding the interaction of these automated vehicles with (insofar possible) real human driving behavior with all its flaws and limitations. In his talk, Prof. Van Lint outlined several fundamental challenges, and he sketched vision and concrete path through which we can develop a new generation of traffic simulation tools to address these challenges.
- Dr. Lucas P.J.J. Noldus, Noldus Information Technology BV, Wageningen, The Netherlands: “New tools for the study of driver-vehicle interaction”
With the trend towards automated vehicles, the role of the driver is changing. This means that all sorts of new questions arise with respect to studying driver-vehicle interaction. How can the driver stay alert enough to intervene at the moment when he or she needs to override the automatic system? What is the experience of the driver and passengers in an advanced car – do they feel safe, trusting the automation, or helpless and nervous? Measuring the state of the driver has never been more important, and this has led to a demand for new methods and tools. At the same time, it has become clear that to fully understand the driver’s state, it is not sufficient to rely on a single measure, but the use of sensor fusion techniques combining multiple modalities is necessary. Noldus Information Technology designed DriveLab™ to address these challenges, in cooperation with Green Dino, Smart Eye, Delft University of Technology and HAN University of Applied Sciences. This easy-to-use, integrated research tool delivers a powerful instrument for understanding driver behaviour and evaluating human-machine interface designs.
Dr. Lin Li holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan and is currently Chief Engineer at the Shanghai International Automobile City.
About SIAC: Shanghai International Automobile City (Shanghai Auto City) is a key project of Shanghai municipal government in the “10th-Five-Year Plan” period. As a comprehensive auto production base on the west outskirts of Shanghai, it joins in with the microelectronic industrial base In the east of Shanghai, the petrochemical industrial base in the south of it and the high-grade iron and steel production base in the north of it to make up the four industrial bases of Shanghai.With a planned area of 68 km2, Shanghai Auto City is located in Anting, including the Kernel Zone, the Car-Making & Parts Supply Zone, Shanghai International Circuit, New Town of Anting, etc. It is a comprehensive auto-making base as well as a New modern town with integrated functions of manufacturing, R&D, trading, expo, sports, tourism.
- Prof. dr. Jian Sun, Tongji University, Shanghai, China”: Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Self-Learning Using Simulation”
Biography: Prof.dr. Jian Sun is a Professor in Traffic Engineering, Tongji University. He received his PhD from Tongji University. His research is focused on transportation flow simulation, traffic flow theory, intelligent transportation system, freeway Operation and management. In the past five years, Dr Sun received 4 NSFC research projects, 3 provincial level projects and 15 other projects as a principal investigator and has published over 40 journal articles at major journals in Transportation Engineering. He is a recipient of NSFC Excellent Young Talents award in 2014 and the New Century Excellent Talents in University award in 2013.
We look back at a very energetic and well-visited seminar. For more information about the knowledge institutes, universities and companies, please visit the links below:
- Noldus Information Technology
- Delft University of Technology, Department of Transport & Planning
- Tongji University, College of Transportation Engineering
- Shanghai International Automobile City
From left to right:
Anouk van der Steen (Officer for Innovation, Technology and Science of the Consulate-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Shanghai), Dr. Lucas Noldus (Noldus IT), Prof. dr. ir. Hans van Lint, (Delft University of Technology), Prof. dr. Jian Sun, (Tongji University), Prof. dr. Huizhao Tu (Tongji University)