Virtual reality, the key to car safety in the real world

Automakers are using video games to develop autonomous technology.


Virtual reality video games – configured to present thousands of everyday driving scenarios – help automakers accelerate the development of autonomous vehicle technology.

Simulation technology enables manufacturers such as Porsche to take into account various driving styles, environments, road conditions and decision-making processes to ensure that the automated driving experience is relevant in different markets around the world.

The digitally reproduced environment, people, and vehicles have the same characteristics as their real-world counterparts to provide meaningful input to the radar, lidar, camera, and ultrasound systems that determine the automated response.



Without virtual reality simulations, advanced automated technology may never be installed in cars. America’s leading research organization, Rand Corporation, has observed that it would take hundreds of billions of miles of real-world testing to achieve even small improvements in driver assistance systems.

In addition to saving time and money, testing in a simulated environment enables critical solutions drawn from real road traffic scenarios to be reproduced, modified and refined as needed.

This allows engineers and technicians to train driver assistance systems to react appropriately by reproducing scenarios and results in detail not possible on real roads.

Porsche will also use this simulation technology during the design process to save time and money on prototypes with plans also underway to use virtual reality to show customers a three-dimensional simulation of their purchase.

Vani Naidoo

Vani is a journalist and infrastructure specialist with nearly 20 years of industry experience. Her love for cars started at her father’s gas stations in South Africa and she has yet to overcome it. She was a cricket and political journalist before turning to the automotive industry and has worked with a number of print and online media in Australia and the UK. She also advises the government on major infrastructure projects.

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