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System Trains Driverless Cars in Simulation Before They Hit the Road


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Sensing the streets.

A simulation system invented at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to train driverless cars helps the cars learn to navigate a host of worse-case scenarios before cruising down real streets.

Credit: MIT News

Researchers at theMassachusetts Institute of Technology have created a photorealistic simulation system to train driverless cars prior to their deployment on actual streets.

The Virtual Image Synthesis and Transformation for Autonomy (VISTA) system employs a small dataset assembled from the experiences of actual drivers, to synthesize a virtually infinite number of pathways the vehicle could take in the real world.

The controller is rewarded for the distance it travels without crashing, which requires it to learn how to safely reach a destination by itself, and navigate any situation it encounters.

Tests showed that a controller trained via such reinforcement learning in simulation could be safely deployed into a driverless car and navigate through previously unseen streets, the researchers said.

From MIT News
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