Autonomous cars are learning from Grand Theft Auto V

The blockbuster video game Grand Theft Auto V, which you may know as the one, where you shoot the driver and jack the car, is now contributing to development of self-driving cars.

Grand Theft Auto V: shoot the driver and jack the car
Grand Theft Auto V: shoot the driver and jack the car

Turns out to be one of the simulation platforms companies from Ford Motor Co. to Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo use to teach your family sedan how to drive.  Advantages are simple: simulators never run out of gas and the ones at Waymo can model driving more than 3 million miles in a single day.

“Just relying on data from the roads is not practical,” says Davide Bacchet, who leads the simulation effort in San José, California, for Nio, a startup aiming to introduce an autonomous electric car in the U.S. by 2020. “With simulation, you can run the same scenario over and over again for infinite times, then test it again.”

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