How To Test Self-Driving Cars?

Reading the news this week and it seems that some form of self-driving cars are close to being regulated for in the UK.

Now, I’m not based in the UK but we’ve got a similar set of interesting roads to compare to each other (thinking anything off a motorway, see Irish roads) :sweat_smile:

So of course, I started to think about how you would test the self-driving features of such vehicles?

What would be the first thing you’d try to test?

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@heather_reid in our company we have a project ‘autonomous driving’ dealing with BMW. I’m not involved at all so I can’t answer.
But I’m wondering if you could make a channel about testing in the automotive industry in the slack of MOT so that we can discuss testing things related to vehicles in general.

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Hi Emna, sounds interesting! If there are some of those testers willing to share, send them this way :wink:

If you want a new channel on Slack, check out the Slack Guidelines for how that works :slight_smile:

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I have been getting agents contact me about roles in automotive, specifically around self-driving work. I can only imagine it’s far more boring or less romantic than we imagine. And involves more legal documentation that most of us would like, but still keen as can be to find out more.

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Done! Thanks :slight_smile:

Some replies from LinkedIn:

@callum

Probably (and hoping I get to shift left enough) something like asking, “do we want a self driving car, would a train be better?”

@tomblatch

Set it on a head on collision course with another autonomous car. Robot chicken!

@robaddis

Whether the keyless doors work of course!

@roel

Wait for a low visibility day (rain fog) and see how it handles these conditions.

@rooymans

The ability to take over control manually

After reading a bit about self-driving cars , I came to an unfortunate conclusion that it will take more than just a QA engineer to create correct test scenarios for testing them.
I mean, they have high-definition cameras, radars, lidars, sonars, GPS - and all of them collaborate with each other. I believe the knowledge of technical nuances, mechanics, optics will provide better results than just any test cases that come to my head from the common sense/methodology

BTW I also read that Putin planned just to put dozens of self-driving cars on Russian roads and see the results. It’s quite unpleasant to think that he considers his citizens being crash test dummies, but I’m sure that the testing results are going to be remarkable :slight_smile:

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I’ve had to test high definition cameras in the past and nearly got a job testing GPS systems. A lot of it is very maths heavy so if you have a strong mathematical background (I do), you’d uncover a lot for test scenarios.

Of course I appreciate that we all have very different backgrounds so some of us might focus on the locking system, some on the software that drives the internal screen and others elsewhere :slight_smile: