The first-ever test of a virtual simulator of a car was carried out in the UK on Thursday, in which drivers simulated how a car would behave under different driving conditions.
The test, which was conducted by UK-based traffic monitoring firm Baton Rouge, involved drivers driving on a simulated road network of the country’s network of roads.
The simulation showed the car’s front and rear suspension, brake and fuel tank, and engine were all set to their maximum and allowed for maximum grip.
The car was fitted with two airbags, a GPS navigation system, and an anti-lock braking system, along with a range of other safety features.
The driver also had the option of wearing an anti-[anti-theft] tag.
The simulator was tested using the Baton Rouge Traffic Networking (BTO) system, which can simulate traffic flows over a network.
The BTO uses the same computer code as the real thing, but it has been modified to simulate the traffic of a network rather than a road network.
“We used the software to simulate traffic on the road network, but the driver was not actually driving the car on the real roads,” said Michael Boulton, managing director of Baton ROUGE.
“What you see on the simulator is how the real cars behave on a road, and how the virtual car behaves when you put it on a real road.”
The simulation, conducted by the company and the UK Department for Transport, also included different types of traffic, including vehicles with a “noise floor”, vehicles with different speeds, and cars on one side of the road with a large number of vehicles passing through it.
It was carried in partnership with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
“We want to understand how drivers are travelling and the effects that this has on their safety,” said Mr Boulthorpe.
“The road network is a major transport infrastructure, so we are using it to get an understanding of how the drivers are operating the vehicle.”
The simulations also revealed that the road networks are more difficult to navigate than other road networks, particularly when using a mobile phone, as drivers can see only a limited view of the lane ahead of them.
Drivers who use a tablet, car radio or other electronic device may have difficulty using the BTO, as the virtual traffic network can only be used for one device at a time.
The traffic network also allows drivers to change their speed, brake, and fuel pressure settings, which could impact their ability to drive safely.
The tests were carried out at a location near the UK’s capital, London, and were done on real roads in the city.
The UK’s government has launched a project to create virtual roads, and the country will be the first to try a real one.
“This is the first of its kind, and it is a first-of-its-kind experiment to show what happens when you have a real traffic network,” said David Boulstone, the country and environment secretary.
“In the next few years, the government will look at creating virtual roads to help the government better manage the huge number of people travelling through London and to improve safety.”