The trickiest thing with autonomous cars is testing them in real-world situations. Self-driving car developers need to put their software in unpredictable real-world situations, sharing the road with unpredictable human drivers, to help the systems anticipate unusual situations.
And at least one company is turning to the hit video game Grand Theft Auto V for help.
, Dana Hull reports that scientists from Germany's Darmstadt University of Technology and Intel Labs have devised a way to feed "visual information" from GTA V into the self-driving software being tested. As anyone who's played the game can attest, it features enough details—like roaming pedestrians and animals, a variety of weather conditions, and complex traffic patterns—to roughly simulate a normal day of real-life driving.
That is, as long as you're not trying to pull off the outrageous stunts, heists, or slayings that the game's super-advanced physics simulations make possible.
for the full report, and learn how games like GTA V are going from playthings to tools in the quest to engineer a self-driving future. Keep that one in your pocket for the next time someone criticizes your gaming as a waste of time.