Grand Theft Auto 5 is being used to teach driverless cars

Turns out a group of researchers are using Grand Theft Auto 5's driver AI to teach their self-driving cars how to navigate through traffic.

Nio plans to introduce a self-driving electric vehicle in the U.S. by 2020.

Grand Theft Auto V is one of several different pieces of software that companies are using to put self-driving cars through their paces.

Princeton Professor Alain Kornhauser has praised the rich and complex traffic environment of Grand Theft Auto V, saying it's "the richest virtual environment that we could extract data from".

It all started previous year when scientists from Darmstadt University of Technology in Germany and Intel Labs discovered a method that pulled visual information from Grand Theft Auto V. After developing a way to pull the visual information, researchers are "deriving algorithms from GTAV software that's been tweaked for use in the burgeoning self-driving sector". It's very hard to experience all situations on real roads, so simulation is key.

"Just relying on data from the roads is not practical", Davide Bacchet, head of Nio's simulation efforts, recently said, via Automotive News.

As reported by Bloomberg, Rockstar's silly sandbox game happens to provide the best simulation we have at the moment. There's nothing at all terrifying about the thought of it training motorised AI to roam real-life roads, no sir.

You might have played the "Grand Theft Auto 5" game, driving different vehicles on the city highway with a lot of pedestrians you love to hit and run.

While the game may act as the flawless platform for diverse driving situations, it also provides gamers with the ideal example of how to break the law in more ways than you ever thought possible - here's hoping the robotic cars of the future don't pick up any bad habits.

GTA is equipped with 262 types of vehicles, and plenty of pedestrians and animals that will do nearly anything - run out in the road frantically, constantly stand in the way and more. As detailed on Bloomberg, entering the world of GTA V gives an AI access to 262 different types of vehicle, 14 weather conditions, every road situation you can think of, and over 1,000 different types of pedestrian to deal with.

  • Arturo Norris