Oxbotica uses ‘metaverse’ to accelerate AV safety

Autonomous vehicle (AV) software company Oxbotica is using advanced artificial intelligence (AI) in the metaverse to accelerate safe and efficient deployment of AV technology.

Oxbotica MetaDriver is a suite of tools that includes virtual real world simulation, automated discovery of challenging scenarios, and real-time data expansion. It is designed to help AVs answer three core questions: ‘Do I see it right?’, ‘Am I doing it right?’, and ‘Can I trust myself right now?’

MetaDriver generates a range of scenarios which are used to test and refine AV operations and behaviours without ever needing to physically drive in them, aiming to accelerate commercial readiness. It also provides the ability to build a digital twin representation from real-world gathered data.

The AI has learned to automatically seek out rare, unusual and unseen scenarios known as ‘edge cases’. This allows the testing of autonomy systems against ‘corner cases’, and for the systems to learn to handle them. 

According to Oxbotica, MetaDriver offers edge-case discovery rates at an average of 1,000 times faster than traditional testing methods and up to 35,000 times faster in some situations.

Using its data expansion, each ‘meta-mile’ can be tested in all conditions including rain, snow, fog and at night or in the day, eliminating the need to wait for various weather conditions to appear during real-world testing.

MetaDriver’s capabilities aim to enable fast, targeted and diverse testing which will give AV operators confidence that their vehicles are equipped to operate safely, accurately and effectively in their specialised environments, whether that is a city, mine, wind farm, solar park or airport.

Paul Newman, founder and CTO at Oxbotica said the suite of tools offers ‘so much more than straight forward simulation’. “Using the metaverse in this way provides us and our customers with practically unlimited test challenges, revolutionising how we are accelerating AV commercial deployment to make the Earth move,” he said.

“Oxbotica MetaDriver allows us to do the hard miles without the conventional need to physically drive the miles. The autonomous vehicle industry has become over indexed on the number of miles travelled as a synonym for safety, but what we actually care about is coverage of hard cases, not the endless miles endured. Oxbotica MetaDriver addresses this in a new and exciting way.”