László Kishonti, founder and CEO of AImotive, presents the “How Simulation Accelerates Development of Self-Driving Technology” tutorial at the May 2018 Embedded Vision Summit.
Virtual testing, as discussed by Kishonti in this presentation, is the only solution that scales to address the billions of miles of testing required to make autonomous vehicles robust. However, integrating simulation technology into the development of a self-driving system requires consideration of several factors. One of these is the difference between real-time and fixed time step simulation. Both real-time simulation, which demands high-performance computing resources, and fixed time step simulation, which can be executed more economically, are needed, and the two serve different purposes. Specialized frameworks are also needed to support the work of development teams and maximize the utilization of available hardware.
AI researchers and developers, according to Kishonti, should be able to request server-based tests from their workstations. These tests run selected versions of the simulator and self-driving solution and provide quick feedback about the effects of changes to the solution or to the simulator. Using established test scenarios and different software versions allows the simulator and self-driving solution to be used to validate each other. This prevents wasting resources on changes that degrade or destabilize either the simulator or the self-driving solution, accelerating the development of solutions while also making them safer.