VR-Design Studio by FORUM8
FORUM8 is a Japanese 3D specialist engineering & simulation software company with headquarters in Tokyo and other offices and facilities throughout Japan. It also has offices in China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea, Australia and London as well as Partners, both commercial and technical, worldwide.
The company’s primary software VR-Design Studio is state-of-the-art Interactive 3D VR real-time transport & urban simulation and modelling software.
Its ability to replicate the real world interactively in photo-realistic 3D means that it has many applications, from driving simulation to 3D urban, traffic and emergency event design & planning and has proven to be the perfect solution to consensus building through stakeholder consultation.
The software allows users to build, manipulate and interact with 3D space dynamically. They can import and edit CAD data, build and texture models, build roads, tunnels & bridges automatically, view multiple design alternatives in real-time, both offline and online, as well as being able to visualize and edit intelligent traffic in ways previously not possible.
The VR-Design Studio (formerly UC-win/Road) development philosophy has two parallel objectives. The first is to enable the user to simulate the real world as accurately as technically possible. This includes being able to reproduce and control every conceivable environmental effect from rain, snow, wind, shadows, lighting etc., including time of day and geographic location. The second is to provide the user with a range of software interfaces (plug-ins) that provide added value to 3rd party industry standard engineering, modelling and simulation software products and other data sources such as, photogrammetry, Laser Scanning, Lidar and Photo-logs.
VR-Design Studio’s list of features includes:
Driving simulation module with a wide range of hardware options
- Scenario production and way-point setting
- Free database of VR models – buildings, vehicles, people, street furniture etc.
- Wide range of import file formats
- Import point cloud and photo-log data seamlessly
- Highly realistic driving conditions on and off-road
- Control weather effects, time of day, smoke / fire particle & geo location
- Earthquake, Landslide, Flood & Tsunami simulation & analysis
- Realistic pedestrian movement individually or in crowds
- Large range of 3rd party plug-ins for engineering, pedestrian and micro-simulation software
FORUM8 provides driving simulation customers with a wide choice of modern hardware systems based on both cost and technical specification. The company provides an interactive 3D VR simulation software solution that can move seamlessly from a basic desk top driving simulator, to the most complex hexapod based system. Software that can be used to mimic the real world, thereby providing the driver with the most realistic driving experience technically possible – this software is FORUM8’s VR-Design Studio DS (VR-DS).
As previously stated, the primary objective of VR-DS is to enable the simulation of the real world as accurately as technically possible. The next is to enable traffic to be set and controlled including speed, volume and direction, along with the inclusion of a scenario editor to enable an almost infinite number of ‘what-if’ events to take place. The ability to build and interact with 3D traffic networks from 2D micro-simulation data is also possible.
Sound is added to complete the virtual driving experience. This includes the sound of the engine, horn, tyres (on different road surfaces), wind, rain, thunder, as well as other sounds associated with a normal drive, including crashes. VR-DS also features the ability to monitor and record the driver’s carbon footprint through its Eco Drive system. In addition the dynamics of the driven vehicle can be altered dynamically, or vehicle dynamics data can be imported from one of the industry standard 3rd party dynamics packages.
Apart from providing the driver with the most realistic driving experience technically possible, the Driver Diagnosis, Data Log-Export and Replay plug-ins, enable users to record, report and replay all the actions of the driver and how they respond to the various driving scenarios. These scenarios can be preset within the driving simulation, or they can be turned on or off remotely by a trainer (or researcher) connected by a wireless tablet, or directly from the control PC.
In addition to the fact that the actions of the driver and the vehicle can be monitored, recorded and replayed, multiple drivers can be networked together within a clustered system driving and interacting with each other within the same 3D driving environment.
In addition, the VR-DS software development kit (SDK) enables the production of a range of interfaces that enable such items as eye tracking devices and head mounted displays such as Oculus Rift to be integrated within the overall driving simulator along with HILS systems.
The latest application of DS systems and in particular the VR-DS software is in the research into ADS (Assisted Driving Systems), vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) communications. This work is possible through the ability to incorporate various warning systems & cameras and the use of the FORUM8 cluster software which enables multiple drivers to drive within the same 3D VR networked environment.
One of the other great benefits of VR-DS is the ease with which 3D driving environments can be created. Whether building upon one of our existing pre-built driving environments or starting from scratch there are a number of low cost ways in which to create either a hypothetical road network or a real cityscape.
VR-DS version 11 now enables the import of GPS data directly into the software to automatically create the road network.
This is achieved through the new Curve Calculation Function. By importing information via GPS tracking, or by means of a few simple clicks of the mouse along the road’s aerial image, the road centreline, horizontal / vertical curves will be automatically generated.
Other new ways to develop an accurate road network as well as the surrounding infrastructure are by means of an unmanned aerial drone or by using a mobile laser scanning unit. VR-DS has a direct software interface for point cloud data and RGB values that can lead to the rapid production of highly accurate 3D environments.