Glass building with Virtuocity lettering and people looking on

Virtuocity is a unique programme for city simulation and co-design. It provides an immersive, “human in the loop”, simulation and visualisation facility – “powered” by academic models and industry software, and delivered by an interdisciplinary team of academics with decades of expertise between them.

Virtuocity provides a world-leading technical platform and leverages research and innovation expertise from across the University of Leeds (including the Institute for Transport Studies – itself an internationally-recognised centre for transport research).

Virtuocity also links to a wide range of external partners and stakeholders – making Leeds a world player in simulation and virtual prototyping of solutions to future challenges in urban mobility and urban dynamics.

Our human-focused research has had impacts on the design of past, current and future transport systems including Smart Motorways and driver safety systems and is now making a key contribution to simulating and evaluating highly automated driving systems.

Virtuocity is comprised of three laboratories (University of Leeds Driving Simulator, Truck SIM, and the Highly Immersive Kinematic Experimental Research (HIKER) laboratory), but the latest exciting development is the creation of “Distributed Simulation” capability, which enables the three simulation laboratories to be connected and for research participants to interact in a single “multi-player” environment in order for researchers to address ever more complex problems involving multiple modes and multiple actors.

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Professors Richard Romano and Natasha Merat talk about Virtuocity, a unique programme for city simulation and co-design

Virtuocity provides:

  • A world-leading combination of facilities and researchers in a highly innovative, dynamic and multi-disciplinary environment
  • Collaboration with end-users, industry partners and decision makers to answer pressing questions and co-produce better and more cost-effective solutions to mobility systems and city design
  • Vast experience in using technology to generate reliable and robust outcomes;
  • Interactive research and demonstrations, incorporating a commanding set of shared data and models
  • Encouraging and supporting safe, efficient and sustainable mobility and design of the urban environment.
Project Funder Schools
Transition EPSRC School of Psychology, Institute for Transport Studies
interACT European Commission Institute for Transport Studies
HumanDrive Innovate UK Institute for Transport Studies
VeriCAV Innovate UK Institute for Transport Studies, School of Computing
PEDSIM EPSRC Institute for Transport Studies, School of Mechanical Engineering, School of Civil Engineering, School of Computing, School of Psychology
InclusivePublicSpace European Commission School of Law, Institute for Transport Studies
COMMOTIONS EPSRC Institute for Transport Studies, School of Psychology, School of Computing
SYNERGY Internal Institute for Transport Studies
SYNERGY PRIME Turing Institute Institute for Transport Studies, Leeds Institute for Data Analytics
DfT Novice VR Department for Transport Institute for Transport Studies