Date of Award

12-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

School of Computing

Committee Member

Dr. Andrew Robb, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Sabarish V. Babu, Committee Co-Chair

Committee Member

Dr. James Martin

Committee Member

Dr. Pierluigi Pisu

Abstract

Validation of Autonomous Vehicle behavior algorithms requires thorough testing against a wide range of test scenarios. It is not financially and practically feasible to conduct these tests entirely in a real world setting. We discuss the design and implementation of a VR based simulation testbed that allows such testing to be conducted virtually, linking a computer-generated environment to the system running the autonomous vehicle's decision making algorithms and operating in real-time. We illustrate the system by further discussing the design and implementation of an application that builds upon the VR simulation testbed to visually evaluate the performance of an Advance Driver Assist System (ADAS), namely Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC) controller against an actor using vehicular navigation data from real traffic within a virtual 3D environment of Clemson University's campus. With this application, our goal is to enable the user to achieve spatial awareness and immersion of physically being inside a test car within a realistic traffic scenario in a safe, inexpensive and repeatable manner in Virtual Reality. Finally, we evaluate the performance of our simulator application and conduct a user study to assess its usability.

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