Rahul Mangharam, associate professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, is leading a team of six researchers in pursuit of what they describe as a "driver's license test" for self-driving cars. The test involves a rigorous use of mathematical diagnostics and simulated reality to determine the safety of autonomous vehicles before they ever hit the road.
All in service of rating robot drivers, white boards covered in complex equations, shelves full of makeshift toy cars and computer screens displaying video games comprise the environment of the Penn lab. Penn scientists run the autonomous driving software, called Computer Aided Design for Safe Autonomous Vehicles, through both mathematical diagnostics and the virtual reality test drives on Grand Theft Auto to see when the system fails.
“You can never have 100 percent safety,” Mangharam said. “You can design a system that would not be at fault intentionally.” As much as he believes in autonomous technology, Mangharam is concerned about our society's tendency to neglect regulatory oversight as we embrace a new toy.See article at The Inquirer