Autonomous vehicle software developer Oxbotica has revealed that it is employing successful video game developers to create the autonomous software required for the vehicles of the future.
Game developers who have previously launched flight simulators, racing games and sports titles have helped to create the simulated world in which Oxbotica is testing its autonomous software – whether driving on an urban street or off-road in a mining quarry.
The company is also harnessing the techniques behind the animation technology used in the development of big blockbuster movies, while a video game engine not unlike those behind Fortnite and Call of Duty is helping to run the company's virtual test programme.
Oxbotica's autonomous software stack uses simulation to allow engineers to run virtual testing in an infinite number of scenarios, including varying environmental conditions, traffic congestion and modelling unpredictable pedestrian behaviour or scenarios that can't easily be replicated in the real world.
It can then play back software changes through these simulations in a fraction of the time required for live testing, allowing development to happen quickly, safely and at scale.
The first game developer to move to Oxbotica, Todd Gibbs, said that the company had attracted some of the video game industry's brightest talent because they bring a speed of development and deployment unique to that industry.
“There is a lot of commonality between developing a chart-topping game and autonomous software, the most valuable being robust coding principles and a focus on CPU efficiency. We are able to write new code, debug and test in real-time without sacrificing robustness or safety,” said Gibbs.
Oxbotica's modular software stack twins simulation testing with live on-road trials, conducted in London and Oxford, to build a full autonomy ecosystem that can be deployed at scale, anytime and in any place.