Momentum - October 2020 - 17

Today's Engineering

APPARENTto developers of
autonomous vehicles (AVs) that they
could never cumulatively acquire the
equivalent of billions of miles of on-road
validation necessary to create robust
(read: markedly safer than human
drivers) automated-driving systems, the
emphasis shifted to simulation. By some
estimates, developers now are counting
on simulation for more than 95% of their
entire validation and verification effort.
But could scores of AV simulationsoftware suppliers - not to mention
deep-pockets AV players such as
Waymo and any number of automakers
and top-tier suppliers - be getting it all
wrong? Michael DeKort, founder and
CTO of AV simulation developer Dactle
and holder of a broad and deep resume
in the simulation discipline, thinks 95%
simulation isn't nearly sufficient. And
the fundamental strategies and
technologies on which nearly all
simulation developers currently rely are
DeKort insists the solution - what he
generally refers to as adoption of U.S.
Department of Defense (DoD) and
aviation-industry simulation techniques
and technology - not only is attainable
and affordable, it's more efficient. So
efficient, he claimed, "that if Waymo
used the right simulation technology, it
could get to [SAE Level 4 autonomy]
within five years for most locations in
the U.S."
With many major automakers and
developers now conceding high-level
automated driving for everyday vehicles
may be a decade or more from reality,
DeKort's statement is provocative. But
there are others who agree that AV
simulation practices need a shakeup.
Some say that upheaval already is
What DeKort professes - and what
he and a handful of other simulation
developers are in the early stages of
executing - is "the new dawn of
simulation," according to Celite
Milbrandt, CEO of simulation developer
monoDrive. In a similar timeline for how




Military-level simulation capability from Dactle partner physion's image generator allows for
parametric insertion to match real-world performance.
enhanced processing power has
advanced the film-making industry to
almost unimaginable new vistas of
computer-generated imagery (CGI), so
too, Milbrandt said, has sophistication
advanced for AV simulation.  

Dactle's DeKort maintains his proposed
DoD-inspired simulation method doesn't
rely so much on new levels of processing
horsepower as on the structure to use
processing vastly more efficiently. He
contends the industry's reliance on
gaming processors and the simulation
practices based around those
architectures have led developers down
the wrong path. Instead, he said,
simulation needs to be based on the
concepts of federation and determinism.
Determinism, DeKort explained, is the
notion of using a synchronous core or
host architecture versus an
asynchronous arrangement to determine
what runs, when it runs, how often it
runs, and the order in which it runs. This
includes every process or model.

Federation is making each system,
model, or parts of models their own
processes or executables - and is what
enables determinism to work properly.
"The combination of determinism and
federation creates extreme math
efficiency," DeKort asserted.
Those who rely on gaming rendering
engines for more than visual processing
and associated practices may fall behind
when it comes to simulating highly
complex AV scenarios, he said. "Their
approach is so inefficient that they're
throttling themselves all the time.
Others run, or try to run, massive
amounts of code or models
simultaneously. You have to break up
and federate the pieces [of a simulation
task]," DeKort said. "That's the way
aircraft simulation works," he added. "
(Click here to read a more in-depth
version of this article online.) n
By Bill Visnic, editorial director,
SAE Mobility Media

October 2020 17

Momentum - October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - October 2020

Momentum - October 2020
Big Changes to CDS coming next year
Ditching the bells and whistles
One-on-One with Matt McCoy
Ambition and its conundrums
Sprinting to Success
2021 Ducati Superleggera V4 is a lightweighting tour-de-force
Simulation’s next generation
SAE 101: SAE Mobilus
Practicing the ”art of learning”
Dossier: Juan Vasquez of Pariveda Solutions
Momentum - October 2020 - Momentum - October 2020
Momentum - October 2020 - Cover2
Momentum - October 2020 - 1
Momentum - October 2020 - Big Changes to CDS coming next year
Momentum - October 2020 - BENEFITS U
Momentum - October 2020 - Ditching the bells and whistles
Momentum - October 2020 - 5
Momentum - October 2020 - 6
Momentum - October 2020 - 7
Momentum - October 2020 - One-on-One with Matt McCoy
Momentum - October 2020 - 9
Momentum - October 2020 - Ambition and its conundrums
Momentum - October 2020 - 11
Momentum - October 2020 - Sprinting to Success
Momentum - October 2020 - 13
Momentum - October 2020 - 14
Momentum - October 2020 - BRIEFS
Momentum - October 2020 - 2021 Ducati Superleggera V4 is a lightweighting tour-de-force
Momentum - October 2020 - Simulation’s next generation
Momentum - October 2020 - SAE 101: SAE Mobilus
Momentum - October 2020 - Practicing the ”art of learning”
Momentum - October 2020 - Dossier: Juan Vasquez of Pariveda Solutions
Momentum - October 2020 - Cover3
Momentum - October 2020 - Cover4