Celebrating Virtuocity, the world-leading transport simulation facility

This week, Virtuocity welcomes visitors to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its first driving simulator study.

Virtuocity is a unique programme for city and transport simulation. Within it is the University of Leeds Driving Simulator (UoLDS), one of the most technically advanced systems of its kind. 

As well as the driving simulator, Virtuocity includes a truck simulator, a highly advanced pedestrian simulator, virtual reality (VR) and motion-capture technology. 

Virtuocity’s supports cutting-edge research, as its equipment reflects real-world transport systems and environments. 

Virtuocity as a research tool

The facilities at Virtuocity have been used for research into automatic vehicles, driver distractions and impairment, road and vehicle design and traffic safety. 

For example, in the EU Horizon-funded project InterACT, simulations were used to study when, where and how road users would interact with automatic vehicles. 

Meanwhile, a project with the Department for Transport called ADAS User Attentiveness explored whether advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) caused increased distractedness in drivers. 

XCYCLE focused on the safety of cyclists and developed technology to improve the treatment of cyclists on the road. For example, they investigated systems for drivers to detect cyclists and to inform all road users of hazards. 

Research conducted with Virtuocity involves road users, industry partners and decision-makers to co-produce solutions. 

Virtuocity’s findings contribute to national and international policies and transport systems such as smart motorways and speed advisory systems. 

Refurbishment and relaunch 

The UoLDS has undergone a refurbishment to include a new interface vehicle. This means the facility continues to be at the cutting-edge of urban and transport research. 

It is being launched this week at an event to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the simulator’s first study

The event includes tours of Virtuocity, speeches by Professor Hai-Sui Yu, Interim Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds and Chair of Virtuocity’s Strategic Board and Sarah Sharples, Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department of Transport, and keynote presentations about transport research.