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Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017. It lies within the United Kingdom's third-most populous metropolitan area, with a population of 3.2 million.
Make transport in the city a pleasurable and exciting experience
The client wanted to show their best as an innovative company by presenting their Smart City concept for Manchester (UK) in a virtual world. The aim of VR trafic management was to show the benefits and operation of smart city infrastructure in a modern metropolis facing typical transport challenges of the contemporary world.
Our challenge was to create a simulation that would help users get into the concept and its results on their own. It was supposed to make it possible to convince customers to implement the innovative concept of smart city proposed by our client. The target group were high-level employees of the Roads & Transport Department of the Manchester City Council.
There is no safer place to test innovative solutions than virtual reality.
We were responsible for complete implementation of the project from start to finish, but the client was heavily involved in the design process, having the know-how related to the target group and to the operation of the smart city VR traffic management.
The client approached us as experts in the field of creating virtual reality apps (especially in the field of VR traffic management). The project was carried out in weekly sprints, where we met at Cisco WebEx each week to present the results of our work and discuss the selection of subsequent elements and the form of their implementation.
The user sits in a car and drives through the city. During the journey, it is possible to see the moments when the car interacts with appropriately placed sensors investigating different aspects of urban traffic. The information being transmitted results in an appropriate response of the traffic management system. What is important is the car running smoothly through the city, as well as the clearly understandable operation of our smart city VR traffic management solution.
Immersing the smart city concept in virtual reality
Thanks to the application we created, the client was able to present individual elements of the traffic infrastructure, as well as places, time and manner of their operation. Another goal we managed to achieve was to make the user aware of the methods in which the concept of smart city can help improve urban transport.
Since smart city is a relatively new idea, it was necessary to use modern presentation techniques to convince potential buyers that it is the right time to upgrade the current infrastructure. After all, virtual reality is already here and it provides a competitive advantage in many industries.
That is why IoT and smart city are as realistic and timely as possible, and we need to use them so that cities benefit as much as possible from this transformation.
There were three major outcomes of the project:
Ruby on Rails and Angular web app for urban road transport optimization
The VR traffic management was developed entirely with Unity 3D engine and designed specifically for Oculus Rift DK2 devices.