Automakers around the world have been racing to build the first fully-autonomous vehicle for quite some time now. At the moment though, there doesn’t appear to be a clear leader in self-driving vehicles. Aside from major automakers, there are also smaller companies that are also developing autonomous driving software. One of those companies is Oxbotica.
Interestingly, Oxbotica has taken a unique approach to developing autonomous vehicle software. Rather than hiring vehicle engineers, the company is employing world-leading video game developers, who have worked on some of the biggest titles in the last decade, to create the self-driving software of future vehicles. And no, these aren’t just developers of car video games. Game developers that have previously worked on flight simulators, racing games and even sports titles on both consoles and smartphones have helped create the simulated world in which Oxbotica is testing its autonomous software.
Aside from creating the world to test self-driving vehicles, techniques behind animation technology used in the development of big blockbuster movies are also being harnessed by Oxbotica. This is similar to the video game engines used in Fortnite and Call of Duty, which helps run the company’s virtual test program.
According to Oxbotica, the simulations allow them to run nearly infinite scenarios for which to test their self-driving software. This can include various parameters including environmental conditions, traffic congestion, and even unpredictable pedestrian behavior, which is hard to replicate in real life. At the same time, it also makes it easier for developers to adjust the code should there be any issues.
This isn’t the first time videogame developers had a hand in the automotive segment. Back when the Nissan GT-R was introduced in 2008, the automaker had help from Polyphony Digital to design the vehicle’s Multifunction Display.
As technology continues to grow and become more advanced, perhaps the developers behind Gran Turismo might even come out with their own vehicles.