Safety is emerging as the paramount challenge associated with the ongoing progress of autonomous vehicle technology. Great focus is now being placed on the significant amount of testing required for driverless cars before they are able to go onto public roads. Parallel Domain is addressing this safety issue via the launch of its virtual world generation technology that will bring efficiencies to the estimated 11 billion miles of autonomous vehicles testing needed to surpass current human standards.
"We are at a turning point in the industry. Driverless cars need massive quantities of challenging training miles in order to learn how to drive safely, but these real-world miles are dangerous, expensive, and inflexible. State of the art simulations alleviate these bottlenecks while providing essential interactivity, control, and reproducibility," stated Kevin McNamara, Founder and CEO of Parallel Domain, in a recent press statement.
Parallel Domain software automatically generates the environments and scenarios that feed into simulators. This accelerates the time necessary for autonomous vehicles to learn from their mistakes, improving the safety for all vehicles. The platform is also capable of generating multiple realistic, highly detailed city blocks in less than a minute, improving the necessary simulated training and testing environments for autonomous vehicles.
The incorporation of real-world map data enables a photorealistic, living world to be constructed having traffic, pedestrians, time of day, and more key elements. The number of lanes and the condition of the asphalt are programmable, while road curvatures, locations of mountains, and hundreds of new cities can be produced with just clicks.
The company’s next critical milestone is their customer launch with NIO, a global startup company that designs, develops, and produces smart premium electric vehicles for the Chinese market. The company is now able to move forward having completed a seed funding round of $2.5 Million led by Costanoa Ventures and Ubiquity Ventures, with participation from RRE Ventures, and Bessemer Venture Partners.