Today I want to share some news on a project I am working besides coding all the cool AIGTech tools. While mostly working on airplane related AI stuff over the last years, I have been asked by Henrik N. to help him on a addon focusing on maritime AI traffic. Over the time I learned quite a lot about the other parts of the internal AI System and how to use it for different AI related issues/ideas.
Microsoft/ASOBO refers to MSFS as a “digital twin” of the world. A few months ago ASOBO published a presentation showing us how they developed this “digital twin” and what different sources have been used to achieve this level of quality.
All this made me think: A graphical “digital twin” of the world would need some living components as well, that are a “digital twin” of their real-world counterpart as well. MSFS has made the start by adding real world AI Traffic to the base game. The past years have shown that this is basically just a prove-of-concept.
Based on that experience and ideas I started writing a concept called “A living world inside Microsoft Flight Simulator – Represent real world vehicle movements in a digital twin world”. This concept will highlight ideas and concepts to bring real world vehicle movements of aviation and maritime vehicles as well as road and rail traffic into a simulator.
I have not set myself a timeline on when to finish this paper so it might be the case that the rework of the MSFS internal AI system ASOBO has started will not take full advantage of the ideas in the concept. But since most users would not read the technical stuff inside the paper and are only focused on the conclusion, I decided to post the current draft of the conclusion here for you to read already – I guess it will not change that much in the next couple of weeks/months while finishing the last technical parts of the paper.
The implementation of a digital twin of global vehicles movements is theoretically possible within the Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Traffic such as airplanes, helicopters and ships can be injected to the Sim based on real world data and be at the same time fully “user”-aware by switching the effected Object in hybrid modus for the time until it has catches up with its real-world counterpart.
Some 3rd party content is already close to a point to achieve this fully outside of the simulator, so it should not be impossible to implement such features into the Simulator itself. For the perfect integration by 3rd party developers the SDK need to be improved, until this has been done or the Simulator itself offers this feature not much can be changed or improved here any further for the user.
For trains the only reasonable option is to provide “offline” data based on real world timetables, that is not 100% real time but close to it, adds up to the immersion and better than nothing. The major hurdle here is the number of different data-sources required to achieve this.
Until all worldwide road vehicles are connected to centralized source and the provider is allowed to share the information and a 1to1 representation of the global vehicle traffic will be possible – to be realistic here this will like never to happen – a fully 1to1 representation will not be possible. The best way to get as real as possible will be to use the traffic density as primary source for the amount of traffic within the Sim.
For the best in game visuals results developers should stop using static scenery objects to place vehicles in the Simulator since this will result in collisions later when adding real world traffic.