Digital Tokyo Expressway to Boost AV Development

The infamous Shuto Expressway that cuts through the center of Tokyo’s high-rise landscape has been recreated in digital form to help accelerate AV adoption.

UK simulation software specialist rFpro has created the digital twin of the city’s challenging Inner Circular route in a bid to enhance the training of artificial intelligence (AI) while reducing cost and risks of collecting real world data. The virtual environment has already been adopted by major vehicle manufacturers predominately for the development of AVs.

The 21-mile section of road, also known as the C1 route Expressway, has been modeled using survey-grade LiDAR scan data to create a vehicle dynamics grade road surface, claiming to be accurate to within 1mm. The company says the digital environment is not only geometrically precise but functionally accurate too with each of the thousands of road signs, markings and roadside objects being individually classified.

A digital twin of a route allows users to add in an almost infinite number of test scenarios including the types of vehicles, their speeds, color and density of traffic. The rFpro system also allows a large number of humans to drive in the model at the same time, enabling the most complex edge case scenarios to be created and recorded. The Tokyo Expressway is the latest in a library of digital twins created by rFpro that consists of more than 100 locations of other public road routes, proving grounds and test tracks.

Matt Daley, rFpro managing director, said: “The C1 route is one of the most challenging stretches of city roads in the world for an autonomous vehicle to navigate. With constantly changing road curvature and elevation, complex and densely situated junctions and a huge array of road signs and markings, it is the ultimate test of autonomous vehicle technologies and is the perfect way to exercise and develop such capabilities safely.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *