Testing automated features on cars for all possible scenarios is a costly process and requires billions of miles of testing before they are deemed safe.
Project CERTUS will speed up this process using digital simulation, helping to bring such technologies to the mass market quicker and more cost-effectively.
The £2.7m project aims to reduce the time it takes to validate and verify automated driving systems by 40 per cent.
The project will develop software tools to help verify and validate self-driving technology and determine which tests are needed before they can be brought to market.
Coventry University will support the development of the simulation technology, enabling the identification of scenarios to use in test programmes. The University will also work with government and industry to promote the results of the project and develop new educational and skills offerings.
Project lead, HORIBA MIRA will develop the tools and algorithms required to design the most efficient way to evaluate the automated driving system, including a mixed reality platform that will combine the physical test and virtual scenario modelling.
Simulation will not completely replace physical testing but will play a key part in the overall testing programme.
In a statement, Associate Professor Olivier Haas, lead for Intelligent Transportation Systems and 5G and the lead for Project Certus at Coventry University, said: “This project is all about reducing the development costs of self-driving technology for manufacturers, it will make the industry more democratic.
“The aim is to develop a new commercial product to help manufacturers test their designs in a cost-effective manner, while building confidence in this technology.”
In a 2021 report by McKinsey & Company, analysis showed that a third of the development costs to bring a Level 4 car to market – up to $400m – is spent in the verifying automated systems. For more complex use cases such as a Level 4 robotaxi, equivalent testing could cost $1.6bn and account for half of the overall vehicle development costs.
The project commenced in Q3 2023 and concludes in March 2025. Partners include IPG, Polestar and the Connected Places Catapult.