TRAF*MAN Project Update – (Integrating Terrain & AI for Highways Agency)

Our UK Technology Strategy Board SBRI Funded TRAF*MAN project for the UK Department of Transportation/Highways Agency is progressing well.

We had an interesting international team meeting yesterday on the virtual M42 (the location of the simulation) we imported into OLIVE . The meeting was to discuss how to best calibrate the Artificial Intelligence (AI) software which will control vehicles with various driver behaviours  to ensure accuracy and fidelity. Our 3D artist suggested we meet in-world to provide the context for our discussion which  was very helpful (and fun!).

TRAF*MAN Project Meeting on Virtual M42

TRAF*MAN Project Team Meeting

Here’s an overview of the project:

TRAF*MAN Visual Interactive & Intelligent Motorway Management Simulation System

TRAF*MAN will create an immersive synthetic visual environment for modelling and managing incidents on Managed Motorways. The innovative aim of TRAF*MAN is to merge known network performance data with autonomous virtual ‘vehicle drivers’ whose dynamic decision-making is in response to real time triggers – signs, signals, tailbacks, lane closures, opening or closing of the hard shoulder – all presented in a virtual environment.

The prime focus of TRAF*MAN will be on the behaviours of the two main human elements in the system namely, the Control Room Operators in Regional Control Centres and the vehicle drivers. Other road responder behaviours e.g. Traffic Officers, Police, Incident Support Unit can be added as required downstream. Centrally, a ‘controller’ role will be an integral part of TRAF*MAN being able to simulate realistic incident scenarios by adjusting system parameters, introducing planned or random events, and recording data and events in preparation for an exercise or dynamically during the exercise. This ‘record and review’ function can also be used for ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ debriefs or as a mechanism to prompt reflection by professionals using the system.

TRAF*MAN is being led by Ambient Performance with partners  Masa Group and Coram UK .

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New OLIVE version is out today!

We’re excited to announce that a significant new release of the OLIVE  virtual world platform is available from today. Our clients are being informed and we’ll be updating our demo servers for tours and discussions of new features this week. We’ve been using the beta version so long I’ve almost forgotten what’s new!

Some of the new features :

  • New Telephony option enables including mobile phone users in virtual world conversations and vice versa!
  • Improved interface makes it easy to access common features and adjustments including inventory, presentation screesn, views and audio. (it’s much better!)
  • New Scene editor makes it easy to set up training scenes with all the right avatars with correct uniforms/clothing and equipment – then reset as needed.
  • Many new avatar sets with more choices of  business clothing and ethnicity
  • New diverse meeting spaces
  • Lots of  engineering modifcations to improve performance and interoperability
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The SAIC Purchase of Forterra is Good News

Today SAIC (Scientific Applications International Corporation, a scientific, engineering, and technology applications company with sales of US$10 Billion in 2009) announced its acquisition of Forterra Systems, creators of the OLIVE enterprise virtual world platform.
We will continue to distribute, support and build applications on the OLIVE platform for the European market with SAIC and are working with the same great business development professionals we were before.
While we were saddened by the departure of many outstanding Forterra employees we had the pleasure of working with, we believe the best prospects for growth of the OLIVE platform is with its new owners.
We’re excited about the prospects of working with SAIC to continue to deliver outstanding enterprise virtual world applications. They have a significant engineering and program delivery track record which should help extend what we and customers can do with truly initeroperable virtual worlds.

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Slides from my talk on Collaboration and Virtual Worlds

I presented an overview at the Serious Games Institute this week of the key drivers which I believe are fueling the renewed interest in collaboration tools and how virtual worlds provide a unique and powerful capability to provide a sense of copresence and better collaborative media sharing.
Here are the slides from my talk. I wished I had remembered to record it! Lots of good questions arose.

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A minute on Enterprise Virtual Worlds

Nigel Paine (his blog and Twitter feed) and I were discussing how easy it has become to share knowledge in real time across the world using mobile social media tools… and he suggested we create a minute on virtual worlds which we did! He uploaded it via iPhone to an audio service and was then able to tweet it to his posse. I like this tool – it even geotagged our location automatically. Cool! Hopefully the audio plays on most phones too.
Listen!

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