As modern mobility and infrastructure concepts begin to rely more and more on the various as well as multi layered benefits of conditional, highly and ultimately fully automated driving, the technical requirements for vehicles multiply in terms of complexity and diversity. As much as the discussion about vehicle automation is mostly circulating around societal and ethical questions, the sheer technological progress is carried by highly advanced cameras, Radar and LiDAR sensors, built into modern vehicles. The technological progress is speeding up more and more, which requires the redevelopment of evaluation methods for sensor technologies, specifications and arrangements. – since the testing of sensors in a real life environment is most accurate but extensive and slow, the main goal is to create an alternative and beneficial method to test and evaluate single sensors and their configurations as well as complex setups as reliably and accurately as in reality.
Since it is highly desirable to preserve and adopt the versatile benefits of real life testing, the fundamental strategy is to reproduce real traffic environments as virtual ones. Realistic models of vehicles and all sorts of traffic actors may be placed in defined sceneries to understand the effects on recognition, blinds spots and overlays of the used sensors. This way, it is possible to create complex but still realistic road scenarios with the benefits of being able to quickly alter the actors, configure the sensor setup, expand the scenery and save or load scenarios as a whole. Unknown insights may be found in an easy to use, realistic but still powerful tool.
The challenge was approached with agile developments, based on existing modeling and the usage of the Unity game engine. By doing so, already familiar interaction methods could be seamlessly adopted, enabling the user to quickly make use of ARGOS without any learning barriers. The usage of Unity also paves the way for expanding the application into the field of virtual reality – closing the gap to real life testing even more.