Artificial Intelligence

Addressing urban planning issues around autonomous vehicles

13th May 2019
Lanna Deamer


The Eclipse Foundation has announced the launch of the openMobility Working Group that will focus on open and shared collaboration around one of the major issues in urban planning around autonomous vehicles and future transportation requirements - traffic simulation and modelling.

Based on the Eclipse Simulation of Urban Mobility (SUMO) project that originated at the German Aerospace Center, the openMobility Working Group brings together researchers and industry to create a common simulation platform for urban areas in a shared collaboration, open source environment.

This framework will provide the tools for a detailed simulation of the movement of people and vehicles as well as their communication systems. It will be critical in testing driver assistance systems, predicting and optimising traffic as well as evaluating new business concepts such as Mobility-as-a-Service.

“Eclipse SUMO is at the core of the Eclipse openMobility Working Group,” said Dr. Robert Hilbrich of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR). “It allows you to simulate the dynamics and interactions of almost all moving objects in a major city, also including motorways, railways or waterways. It’s very fast and supports not only passenger vehicles, but also buses, trains, trams, bicycles, motorbikes, pedestrians, ships, and even freight containers.”

“Connected and automated mobility helps to improve safety and traffic efficiency. However, the simulation of corresponding scenarios is challenging because different simulation worlds come together, e.g. vehicular traffic, wireless network communication, and application modeling,” said Dr. Ilja Radusch, Director Smart Mobility at Fraunhofer Institute FOKUS.

“The openMobility simulation platform will provide the industry a comprehensive environment allowing a more efficient app and system development. We hope to see more players joining the working group in the near future.”

“To succeed in today’s software-driven markets, automotive companies and urban planners know they have to innovate at digital scale and speed,” said Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation. “openMobility is the latest example of the collaborative work the Eclipse Foundation is supporting in the connected automotive mobility ecosystem. With our working groups, our community is driving the evolution and broad adoption of mobility modeling, simulation, and testing technologies.”

In addition to the openMobility Working Group, the Eclipse Foundation also supports two other automobile and transportation industry Working Groups, Eclipse openPASS (frameworks and modules for simulating advanced driver assistance and automated driving) and Eclipse openMDM (tools and systems for the standardised management of measured data).

These automotive mobility ecosystem initiatives are designed to make transportation safer for everyone and accelerate innovation through collaboration with the aim to:

  • Share intellectual property without the threat of antitrust and regulatory challenges;
  • Enable the creation of a common open platform for automotive and transportation software quality assurance and testing;
  • Share costs and innovation below the value line and focus on investing scarce resources on building differentiated features;
  • Accelerate product development and thereby improve time-to-revenue;
  • Leverage open collaboration as a force multiplier for members at a time of a huge developer shortage, sharing engineering resources versus redundant hiring of talent to do the same work in vendor silos;
  • Enable ecosystem participants alike to safely collaborate across value chains and industries to develop new business models and revenue streams.

The Eclipse Foundation has a proven track record of enabling open collaboration and innovation earned over 15 years. The Foundation’s collaborative projects have resulted in over 195 million lines of code - a $10bn shared investment.

“Traffic simulation is used to accelerate the digital development process at Bosch,” said Christian Wiegand, BOSCH Manager. “By modeling the vehicle movements in real traffic conditions, we can better assess new technologies such as connectivity and automated driving. Furthermore, traffic simulation can provide valuable input for powertrain development.”

“We believe that open standards leverage the development of future mobility technologies,” said Dr. Jakob Kaths, Product Management Engineer at TESIS GmbH (part of Vector Informatik). “That’s why our vehicle and environment simulation DYNA4 already supports OpenDRIVE, SUMO, ROS, FMI, and others and that’s why we’re excited to be part of the new OpenMobility working group.”

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