Open-source driving simulator software targets research and development

April 04, 2013 // By Julien Happich
Company white_c has unveiled its new open-source platform, a driving simulator for research and development in the automotive industry as well as scientific studies.

The software is programmed entirely in Java and is based on the jMonkeyEngine framework, a scene graph based game engine which is mainly used for rendering and physics computation. The makers of invite the developer community world-wide to contribute to the functionality in order to reach a distinct high level quality of the product, as well as to actively disseminate the open-source software.

For the first time in the development of OpenDS, a seamless cylindrical projection with multiple projectors allows the rendering of the road ahead, as well as a view of the simulation environment through the side windows.

"Through the spearhead funding of EIT ICT Labs, we were able to launch the software one year earlier than originally planned”, says Dr. Christian Müller, CEO at white-c. “This is both extremely good for the progress in our research project and for the community world-wide”.

Mobility is an extremely important societal issue. Total costs of accidents in Europe are approximately 5 billion Euros whereas traffic jams provoke a total annual cost of 1.5 billion. Some 72% of all driven kilometers are achieved by car. The number of injured people in traffic is significant: in 2011 120.000 persons were handicapped by traffic accidents, 240.000 were heavily injured and 1.5 million were infringed. In the same year 30.000 persons died in traffic.

white_c is a pioneer in bringing forward traffic safety, focusing on accident documentation and accident analysis as well as operation concepts. With the launch of its driving simulation research, white_c answers to the request by the European Union to come up with inventions for safer traffic and brings forward an open innovation platform for measurements that boost safety of all traffic participants.

white_c is a spin-off company of German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence - DFKI's Automotive Group, being the main contributor to the original free software. The core part of OpenDS is funded by the European Commission (7th Framework