ByMarcus O'Shea, writer at
Resident RPG nerd and SoulsBorne fanatic. Can be spotted by their floofy hair.
Marcus O'Shea

Forget Skynet launching all of our nuclear missiles, it looks like our true destruction at the hands of AI is going to come from self-driving cars. At least that seems to be the most likely result of training them on Grand Theft Auto V's driving AI, which a bunch of geniuses have started doing.

Researchers Are Using 'Grand Theft Auto V' To Train Self-Driving Cars

[Credit: Rockstar Games]
[Credit: Rockstar Games]

Apparently, researchers are using to train and test the newest generation of self-driving cars, which sounds, on its surface like something that should be labelled under 'the worst ideas of all time.'

According to Alain Kornhauser, a professor of Operations Research and Financial Engineering at Princeton University, the game “is the richest virtual environment that [he] could extract data from,” for his research with the Princeton Autonomous Vehicle Engineering Team.

God Help Us All, Imagine The AI Drivers Of 'GTA V' On Real Roads

[Credit: Rockstar Games]
[Credit: Rockstar Games]

The idea of training the self-driving cars in the simulated world of GTA V is apparently to test the cars' AI in all sorts of unusual situations, such as having multiple cars change lanes at the same time, and presumably navigating a bunch of pedestrians who decided to start shooting each other because two people walked into one another and things just escalated.

Of course, since the AI of GTA V has famously had some very interesting bugs, specifically the fact that drivers aggressively try and kill players, it's a little bit worrying to those familiar with the game.

[Credit: Rockstar Games]
[Credit: Rockstar Games]

Despite this, engineers at the Toyota Institute seem fairly confident in their choice of simulation platform. They claim the point of the simulations is to try and 'break the system' in order to improve the reactions and intelligence of the car AI, especially in very unusual conditions—which is exactly the kind of thing people say before their own creation turns on them.

Still, I suppose they're the engineering experts and we aren't, so it might be worth it to trust their word on this one. Let's just hope we don't end up with streets full of... well, GTA drivers.

Are you going to start taking subways as much as possible, now you know that cars are being taught in GTA? Let us know in the comments!


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