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Believe it or not, Grand Theft Auto is helping with the real-world development of self-driving car, and no, the video game isn’t helping to prevent them from being stolen.
As automakers work to get self-driving cars on public roadways, they’re realizing that real-world testing might not be enough. That’s why some are turning to simulations to help develop the software necessary to make autonomous driving safe. Popular video game Grand Theft Auto V is one of the simulation platforms being used to model driving as much as three-million miles a day, something unobtainable in the real world.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Davide Bacchet of Nio said, “Just relying on data from the roads is not practical. With simulation, you can run the same scenario over and over again for infinite times, then test it again.”
It might sound crazy that video games are being used to simulate real-world events, especially when it comes to something as important as self-driving cars – where lives are potentially at stake. But current-generation video games are known for their realism and there’s plenty going on in Grand Theft Auto V that would simulate uncommon events in the real world, like a pedestrian crossing the street when they shouldn’t be.
The game features 262 vehicles, over 1,000 different unpredictable pedestrians and animals, 14 weather conditions and numerous bridges, traffic signals, tunnels and intersections.
This article first appeared on autoguide.com