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Monday, October 15, 2018

Simulation for Autonomous Cars

Like the idea of simulation for difficult, rare or dangerous scenarios.   Of course we naturally do this  already when thinking:  "What would we do if?".   Automated simulation has existed for a long time, allowing us rigorously consider many possibilities at play.   The number of combinations at play (combinatorics) can be difficult.

Waymo's Cars Drive 10 Million Miles a Day in a Perilous Virtual World    In Technology Review  By Will Knight

Waymo, the self-driving subsidiary of Alphabet, says its autonomous vehicles have completed more than 10 million miles of driving since 2009. The company also said its software now drives the same distance inside a sprawling simulation of the real world every 24 hours—the equivalent of 25,000 cars driving non-stop—for a total of more than 6 billion virtual miles. The virtual test track enables researchers to examine the latest software updates on a variety of new scenarios, including situations that have not yet occurred in the real world. The system also makes it possible to test scenarios that would be too risky to do in reality, such as how the self-driving vehicle reacts when other vehicles are driving recklessly at high speeds. However, says the University of Michigan’s Ramanarayan Vasudevan, “The question is whether simulation-based testing truly contains all the difficult corner cases that make driving challenging.” ... ' 

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