Volvo thinks gaming tech can help make self-driving cars safer

Building self-driving cars is no easy matter. Underneath, self-driving cars are dedicated and specialist artificial intelligence systems, which need to be taught how to drive.

They can be taught in the real world, or in the virtual world using simulations. Companies like Tesla, Waymo, and Nuro use real-world testing to expose their AI systems to more driving scenarios.

The theory goes that the more scenarios an AI experiences, the better it will be at predicting the erratic nature of our roads and highways.

Testing in the real-world comes with a host of safety concerns about what happens if a self-driving car gets it wrong, the virtual though doesn’t come with the same concerns. While it might not be as accurate a representation of the real world, it’s undoubtedly safer.

Engineers at Volvo are taking this to heed and have developed a driving simulator designed to improve autonomous vehicle technologies.

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Perhaps the most interesting part, is that Volvo is using the latest gaming tech to bring its simulator to life.

The simulator has a moving driving seat, steering wheel with haptic feedback, and a VR headset. Apparently, it’s hard to tell it apart from reality. It also uses an engine from Unity that’s usually used to design video games.

The software lets Volvo engineers simulate traffic scenarios using a real car on a real test track without putting anyone in undue danger.

Check out the video below to see engineers talk about how it all works.

It’s kind of neat though, that gaming and vehicle design have met at some kind of intersection. Many driving games have aimed to be as realistic as possible, and it seems the technology is now paying back the vehicles it emulates and could make them safer.

HT – Slashgear


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Published November 27, 2020 — 15:17 UTC