Academy Users Report
Wuhan University of Technology
Intelligent Transportation Systems Research Center

Utilizing VR for the R&D of traffic safety evaluation / accident analysis and measures
Expanding and developing the driving simulator by using UC-win/Road and SDK

Wuhan University of Technology
URL: http://wts.whut.edu.cn/
Location: Wuhan City, Hubei Province
Research and development contents: Intelligent Traffic System, traffic safety, traffic information and safety

Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) located in Hongshan District, Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China is intensively operated by the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China. The university was constructed by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Transport, and the State Administration of Science. WUT is one of the universities constructed in priority by the "State Project 211" and "Double First Class Discipline University" in China.

WUT has the Mafangshan Campus, the Yujiatou Campus, and the South Lake Campus, with a total occupying land area of 1,600 hectares. About 36,000 undergraduate students, about 18,000 graduate students, and about 1,700 international students are studying at WUT. Based on the engineering system, the faculties such as science, engineering, economics, management, arts, literature, law, etc. were organized so that they can interact and develop in cooperation.

 Intelligent Transportation Systems Research Center

The Intelligent Transportation Systems Research Center is an independent science research organization in the group of Wuhan University of Technology, and focuses on the intelligent traffic system theory for waterway and road and its applied study.

The study field related to road mainly includes the principle of driver behavior, cause analysis of traffic accident, operation and control of traffic safety, support of safety driving, and development of autonomous driving.

Major studies related to waterway includes the investigation of capacity of inland rivers, technology of traffic safety on water, and analysis of traffic safety on water.

 Road traffic safety and information group

Associate Professor Nengchao Lyu has worked as a lecturer at the ITS center since 2010 and as an instructor for doctor students since 2017. He mainly studies on the traffic safety evaluation, analysis and prevention of accident, ICV, driver's behavior and traffic safety, traffic system simulation and its control. Among over 30 science research projects, he was involved in 3 projects of National Natural Science Foundation of China, 1 national science technology support program, and 3 other ministry projects. He also wrote more than 80 academic papers, and 50 of those are in the SCI/EI. He applied over 20 patents and software copyrights and received 4 science technology awards.

UC-win/Road Driving Simulator used at
the Intelligent Traffic Systems Research Center

Two students in the doctoral course and 10 graduate students are in the road traffic safety and informatization group led by Associate Professor Nengchao Lyu. The members have a study background of certain traffic or information, and have an ability of doing traffic simulation and data processing.

The research team developed many science study experiment platforms based on study needs. The 8-channel UC-win/Road Driving Simulator is used for the platform to research driver's behaviors and traffic safety.

The team has a vehicle for the driving test on real roads and a test platform common for vehicle and road including the intelligent road side system and intelligent vehicle system (that provides the basic conditions of original control algorithm design and the strategy test of vehicle road adjustment system). The test vehicle is equipped with GPS/INS, laser radar, image obtaining system, driving behavior detection system, and vehicle data acquisition system. Data of vehicle state, driving operation, road scene, etc. can be recorded at once.

Test vehicle and equipment

 Reason and purpose of the introduction of UC-win/Road

The road traffic system is complex and dynamic. Human factors having influences on it are also complex. To research on the relationship between human factor and traffic safety, it is required to design and test different scenarios, collect and analyze features of driver behavior. However, complex or dangerous scenarios cannot be tested with the real vehicle. In addition, there is no test environment for the latest driving environment (such as ICV and I-VICS). For these reasons, the driving simulator system is the best solution for his research group.

In 2003, the ITS center built a driving simulator based on the real-vehicle cockpit and 5-channel projection. Although this was applied for a lot of actual items, there was a room for the improvement towards the efficient scene edit function. The research group started to use UC-win/Road developed by FORUM8 to edit the scenes used in simulator and execute driving simulation in 2016. By the expansion development using UC-win/Road SDK, the hardware used for the existing simulators is newly cooperated with UC-win/Road. After constructing the new driving simulator, the group could test the driving simulations efficiently to accumulate precious driving behavior data, and achieved many science studies and company projects.

The following studies related to the basic driving simulation were executed.

  1. A quantitative evaluation of driving load in different traffic environments in the project "The modeling of cognitive decision-making behavior considering the driving burden and how to improve the driving performance", the National Natural Science Foundation of China
  2. A study on the driving characteristics at the busy and complex intersection in the "Project to expand one side of important road and its safety evaluation", the regional project.
  3. A study on the effect of new road markings in the company project "advance alert at Zhuankou Changjiang Road Bridge in Wuhan".

The following researches were related to the newest driving simulation technology.

  1. An investigation of load when the driver uses a driving support system conducted in the National Natural Science Foundation of China "Change rule of load on driver in different adjustments of human and vehicle".
  2. The Natural Science Foundation of Hubei Province "Optimization method of IoT driving behavior identification and advance alert mode". The simulation of driving behavior recognition and effect of intervention in the vehicle network and under the safe driving support.
  3. "The recognition of risky situation during smart vehicle operation and the interactive control of switching", the Science Technology project of Wuhan City. The optimization and test of interaction between human and computer when driving the smart vehicle.

As you can see above, the center creates a lot of driving simulation scenarios that can happen on the real roads and utilizes them for the safety evaluation of traffic facilities.

In addition, it developed safe driving support systems and smart vehicles with UC-win/Road SDK and investigated the human factors by using the latest technology.

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Driving simulation scenarios on different lanes Driving simulation to test the safe driving support system
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Simulation test of driving behavior at the intersection
with expanded road
Driving simulation to test the man-machine switching
during the autonomous driving

The ITS center is planning to expand and upgrade the UC-win/Road system and conduct experiments. As the future prospects, Associate Professor Lyu wants to improve the UC-win/Road Driving Simulator more. The ITS Center is brushing up the simulation cockpit under the lead of him in order to build a more realistic driving environment. It has already upgraded the inactive real cabin to the 6DOF sports cockpit and updated the attached hardware facilities.

Moreover, by using the UC-win/Road driving simulation conditions, the center is handling the popular intelligent connected vehicle in the cooperative vehicle infrastructure and smart highway field. It is also expanding the real-time interaction of multi-simulator.

The center is going to promote the science studies and industrial projects continuously. Specifically, it will realize the simulation reproducing typical scenes under complex conditions by using the development functions in UC-win/Road and SDK, and study on the driving simulation under certain environments and human factors.

Assoc. Prof. Nengchao Lyu and his students

VR data for Evaluation of road markings for speed reduction
on Wuhan Yangtze Great Bridge
The 17th 3D VR Simulation Contest Nomination Award

To evaluate the most effective road markings for speed reduction, 14 patterns of road markings that encourage drivers to slow down were created for an assessment of their effectiveness through driving simulation. The driving scenario covers a long stretch of bridge pavement with a total length of 70 km. Two road marking patterns were selected after the driving experiment and were actually installed on Wuhan Yangtze Great Bridge.
Award ceremony (November 14, 2018) Wuhan Yangtze Great Bridge and its VR data created in UC-win/Road
(Up&Coming '19 Fall issue)