All of a sudden, the mood on autonomous vehicles has shifted. Mostly this is due to several well-publicized accidents, including the world's first pedestrian fatality. Also to blame is the predictable hangover from a peak of inflated expectations, common with any new technology.
Whatever the cause, the new ground-truth is an environment of public and press skepticism, and thus a premium on safety and validation testing of all types. Of course, physical testing is required to demonstrate compliance with specific requirements and quality standards related to functional safety, like ISO 26262. Simulation also is needed to make quick and cost-effective design iterations, and validate that the system can handle all possible real-life use cases in an environment that is reproducible and safe.
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