Although they hold much promise, this has not exactly been a stellar time lately for self-driving/autonomous vehicles. As a matter of fact, recent events have cast a dark cloud over them.
Testing them on the road is, of course, essential, but I’ve often wondered if digital simulation could be used more to maximize safety and efficiency with less road testing required.
As it turns out, this very thing, simulation, is finally being performed quite extensively.
This week, Siemens introduced a breakthrough solution for the development of autonomous driving systems as an addition its Simcenter portfolio that minimizes the need for extensive physical prototyping while dramatically reducing the number of logged test miles necessary to demonstrate the safety of autonomous vehicles.
In a nutshell, this computing and simulation platform is aimed at accelerating the validation and verification of autonomous cars.
Siemens PLM Software Driving Simulator
According to the findings of a report issued by the Rand Corporation, autonomous vehicle prototypes would have to be driven hundreds of millions of miles, and in some cases hundreds of billions of miles, over the course of several decades to demonstrate their reliability in terms of fatalities and injuries – an outcome the authors deemed inconsistent with the near-term commercial viability of self-driving cars. For possible solutions to these challenges, the researchers pointed to innovative testing methods such as advanced simulation technologies.
Leveraging advanced, physics-based simulation and innovative sensor data processing technologies, the new Siemens solution is designed to help automakers and their suppliers address this industry challenge with the potential to shave years off the development, verification and validation of self-driving cars.