UK-based simulation software specialist rFpro has unveiled a digital model of an extensive network of roads in Los Angeles, California, to support the development of autonomous vehicles (AV) and automated driving technologies.

This virtual environment enables engineers to conduct testing of AVs in simulation before advancing to real-world road testing.

The newly developed Los Angeles model boasts an expansive 36km loop, marking it as the largest public road model created by rFpro to date. This digital replica is fully navigable in both directions, offering engineers a realistic and diverse environment for conducting rigorous testing.

The model accurately captures the intricate layout of Los Angeles’ roads, encompassing various configurations including highways, split-dual carriageways, and single-carriageway sections.

Source: rFpro

Matt Daley, Technical Director at rFpro, highlighted the significance of the Los Angeles model for AV development, stating, “LA is one of the leading cities globally for developing and trialling autonomous vehicle technologies.

“Our model provides OEMs with the ability to thoroughly train and test perception systems in a safe and repeatable environment before correlating these simulated results on the public road.”

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The digital twin of Los Angeles has been meticulously crafted using survey-grade LiDAR scan data to generate a vehicle dynamics-grade road surface, boasting an exceptional accuracy of within 1mm in height across the entire 36km route.

Additionally, the model includes an impressive array of features such as 12,400 buildings, 40,000 pieces of vegetation, and over 13,600 street furniture objects, all modelled with precise material characteristics critical for testing sensor systems.

Furthermore, the model incorporates various elements that challenge automated driving technologies, including roadside parking, islands separating carriageways, drop kerbs, rail crossings, bridges, tunnels, and a multitude of junctions with varying complexity.

The extensive coverage, diverse road configurations, and high-fidelity road surface model make the Los Angeles digital model suitable for a wide range of testing applications, including vehicle dynamics, ADAS, human factors, and headlight development.

rFpro is a member of the AB Dynamics Group plc.