Self-driving cars are still a ways away from being widely used on our streets, but if the idea of automonous automobiles still creeps you out, this might set your mind at ease…
In a world where you can setup ramps to try to de-rail trains, or hunt for bigfoot, or any number of other countless crazy things, one of the most interesting is actually seeing A.I. play the game instead of you.
Using something called DeepDrive, which is a platform that can be used to create AI for self-driving cars, you can see the safest example of driving that you’ll ever find in a GTA game.
Instead of the normal GTA experience you’re used to, DeepDrive mods the game into becoming a simulator and a tech demo for self-driving cars that can be tweaked and improved over time. Previous versions of DeepDrive took an entire day to setup, but now it only takes about twenty minutes.
The varying landscapes of GTA V made a great place for researchers to train their AI to navigate. From all sorts of different scenery, different types of cars on the road, stop lights, mountain paths, and more, it’s not an easy task.
Now, you might be playing GTA V and look at all of the other AI-controlled cars all over the road and wonder why DeepDrive is any different. DeepDrive isn’t just a car that’s been programmed to run inside of the game, controlled by the game’s source code, it’s a whole separate entity controlling the car, reacting in real time to whatever’s going on around it, and making adjustments accordingly.
DeepDrive takes in the car’s surroundings by capturing the screen in real time, and instantly deciding what to do. If it notices cars in front slowing down, it’ll start to slow down for a stop light. If it sees a cyclist on the road, it’ll avoid hitting them. It can track weather conditions and drive accordingly, too. Since GTA V has hundreds of vehicles and many different conditions, and is about a fifth the size of LA, it proves to be a great testing ground.
Not only that, but it can be expanded with mods like Real World Vehicles, Construction, and more – and it’ll adapt. We’re not sure how it would handle Optimus Prime mod by Menyoo, but that’s what scientists are researchers are for.
Despite the occasional hiccup, self-driving cars in the real world have great track records. Using virtual settings to improve this technology means they can continue to iron things out and make them even better without putting real drivers at risk, but let’s be serious – the self-driving cars are probabally in a lot more danger from real drivers, than real drivers are in danger from the self-driving cars on the road (Especially in Los Santos).
If you want to try setting this up for yourself, you can find instructions here.