Testing self-driving software on public roads can be incredibly expensive, with the cost of the car, the hardware, the license, and insurance potentially reaching into the millions.
AImotive, a self-driving software developer, has been looking for a unique way to cut the costs. Instead of spending money on the real thing, it attempted simulating the experience using Project Cars, a 2015 motorsport video game developed by Slightly Mad Studios.
The team wanted to use Project Cars as a framework to build its own simulator, testing self-driving algorithms inside the video game to make it as close to the real experience as possible.
Better for simulation
It is not the first time self-driving software has been programmed through a simulation, rather than real-world testing, but it is the first time a video game has been used as the foundation for the simulation.
Project Cars outperforms most of the commercial car simulators available today, making it a viable option for any software developer that wants to test software.
In the end, AImotive discovered Project Cars wasn’t robust enough for simulation requirements. But the studios behind the game may look to reuse AImotive’s self-driving software for Project Cars 2, expected late 2017, as a way of simulating real-life driving conditions while players race.