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Immersive Semantics-based Virtual Environments for the Design and Validation of Human-centred Aircraft Cockpits

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Total project cost
€2 869 256
EU Contribution
€1 994 213
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Vehicle design and manufacturing (VDM)
Transport mode
Airborne icon
Transport policies
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Call for proposal
Link to CORDIS
Background & Policy context

New tools are needed for the design and evaluation of aircraft cockpits with a high level of flexibility and low cost. Virtual prototyping has been widely used. A great challenge today is to provide methods and tools that seamlessly integrate low-level 3D geometries with domain-specific knowledge and intelligence.


i-VISION will combine methods and technologies from three distinct areas of research, namely Human Factors, Semantics and Virtual Reality, into advanced design and validation tools. The S&T objectives of i-VISION are:

  • Analysis of Human-Cockpit Operations. Advanced human factors methods will be used for recording and analysing human procedures and tasks within a virtual cockpit. Semantic Web technologies will facilitate the simultaneous access to and processing of both geometric information and human factors related domain-knowledge.
  • Definition and implementation of a Semantic Virtual Cockpit. Semantic Web technologies will be used to enrich a pure geometric data set with semantic annotations. Intelligence and knowledge about procedures and cockpit concepts will be added to the VR-based simulation.
  • Development of a Virtual Cockpit Design Environment. An advanced VR-based environment will be delivered, which will serve as a reusable and low-cost simulation testbed for experimenting with various configurations and set-ups of virtual cockpits.

i-VISION developments will support human factors design and validation activities in aircraft cockpits during the early phases of the product life-cycle. They will help integrate domain knowledge and intelligence in the virtual cockpits, thus turning them into more cohesive, comprehensive and reliable design tools. Thus, they will help reducing significantly the development costs and time-to-market.

The i-VISION Consortium includes representatives from all major R&D stakeholders, including end users, research partners and IT vendors.

i-VISION has been endorsed by the European Aeronautics Science Network.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
The European Commission
Type of funding
Public (EU)
Specific funding programme


Virtual Reality technology for better decision-making in building optimised, safer cockpits

The aerospace industry’s efforts to reduce product development times and costs are hampered by the need to build several physical prototypes for verifying various factors during design. An EU initiative used virtual reality technology to accelerate the design process while enabling faster and more flexible aircraft cockpit prototype creation.

Accounting for the human factor in the design phase is key to the reliability and resilience of aeronautics systems, both from an operational and error tolerance perspective. The approach used so far in cockpit design involved the creation of physical prototypes connected to avionics or flight simulation, the recording of pilot’s activities and the evaluation of the design in pen and paper by expert analysts, which required excessive time and cost. VR technologies combined with human task and cognitive workload analyses provide an alternative solution.

The EU-funded project i-VISION (Immersive semantics-based virtual environments for the design and validation of human-centred aircraft cockpits) introduced a novel approach for cockpit design based on the use of VR technology and the creation of machine-interpretable knowledge of human tasks and flight procedures.

Project partners defined, implemented and validated a solution consisting of three distinct, yet complementary developments.

The first is a web-based application that serves as an interface for the expert/engineer, allowing him/her to conduct advanced Human Factors (HF) analyses on human operations during various flight procedures in a VR-based cockpit.

Secondly, an enhanced VR platform serves as a reusable and low-cost simulation test bed, namely a realistic virtual mock-up for experimenting with various cockpit configurations, thus enabling human-centred assessment of future cockpit architectures. Users can immerse in the virtual cockpit environment and participate in complex simulations, while their actions are being recorded for further analysis.

Employment of semantic technologies for connecting the modelling and analysis procedures with the cockpit elements and integrating the relevant data is the third technical advance. This allows for workflow observation and complex querying, aiding the evaluation of an aircraft cockpit in a timely and cost-effective way.

i-VISION outcomes will help advance aircraft cockpits design by systematically reusing knowledge and allowing quicker and more adaptable prototyping. The reduction of the need for physical prototyping will reduce development time and cost of new aircraft cockpits. Project results also provide a collaborative design environment to effectively analyse human operations utilising VR. This will lead to highly competitive cockpits for end users and increased safety of future aircrafts.


Lead Organisation
Panepistimio Patron
University Campus- Rio, 26500 Patras, Greece
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€504 800
Partner Organisations
Airbus Defence And Space Gmbh
Ludwig-Boelkow-Allee 1, 85521 Ottobrunn, Germany
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€164 682
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€211 474
Easn Technology Innovation Services Bvba
Terweidenstraat 28, 3440 Budingen, Belgium
EU Contribution
€57 600
Karlsruher Institut Fuer Technologie
Kaiserstrasse, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€314 000
University Of Southampton
Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€270 057
Rue Parmentier Ze De La Farlede, 83078 Toulon, France
EU Contribution
€471 600


Technology Theme
Information systems
Semantic technology
Development phase
Demonstration/prototyping/Pilot Production

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