Source: Fast Mode
MORAI at Asia Tech x Singapore 2022: Simulation Testing Crucial for Autonomous Driving
With Asia Tech x Singapore 2022 wrapping up this week, Tara Neal, Executive Editor at The Fast Mode spoke to Jiwon Jung, the CEO and co-founder of MORAI in a brief interview on MORAI's plans and showcases at the event as well as some of the recent trends in the autonomous driving market.
Tara: Can you share with us the latest developments in the autonomous driving space?
Jiwon: MORAI does not manufacture autonomous vehicles but offers simulators for autonomous vehicle companies to verify the safety and reliability of autonomous driving systems. Therefore, I will explain it from a simulation point of view.
MORAI believes that simulation is the best solution to achieve full autonomy. Data from RAND Corporation, a US think-tank, shows that 14 billion kilometers of driving tests are needed to demonstrate the autonomous vehicle reliability. This is a distance that would take about 400 years when 100 autonomous vehicles run continuously all day for 365 days, which is impossible to achieve in the real-world testing. Therefore, simulation tests are critical for verifying autonomous driving technology.
When it comes to developing autonomous vehicles, development speed, verification cost, and coping capabilities vary greatly depending on the effectiveness of the simulator. Therefore, as the autonomous vehicle market becomes larger and competitive, the need for simulation verification technology will increase. MORAI continues to respond to the growing demand for autonomous vehicles driving simulators by providing the most optimized verification tools for engineers.
Recently, MORAI has introduced the cloud-based offering. The cloud-based method increases test efficiency as it enables users to run a large number of simulation tests requiring multiple computers to run, with a single computer simultaneously. MORAI SIM Cloud is the Software as a Service (SaaS) model of the existing MORAI autonomous driving simulator, MORAI SIM, that allows users to perform simulation tests in the cloud without the process of installing any software onto local computers. Through this, countless simulation environments can be built without hardware restrictions, and tests can be performed simultaneously.
Tara: When can we expect to see autonomous driving become a common feature on the road? What are some of the countries/cities which are ahead in introducing this?
Jiwon: In the case of autonomous driving on highways and automobile-only roads, I think it will soon be commercialized considering the current rate of technology development. However, autonomous driving in urban areas is difficult to be commercialized just with the development of autonomous technology, and it will be only possible if infrastructure such as V2X (Vehicle to Everything Communication) and autonomous driving lanes are supported. The demand for autonomous vehicle driving simulation technology is expected to rise as autonomous driving in urban areas requires a much more complicated verification process compared to driving on highways and automobile-only roads and the scope of autonomous driving technology continues to expand.
What role does simulation and testing play in enabling autonomous driving capabilities?
Automated systems that are closely related to human safety requires more types of validation and verification. Autonomous driving systems also must undergo rigorous testing to ensure that they can accurately recognize the surrounding environment and take the necessary actions to ensure the safety of all actors involved. However, as the real road test is to operate an unverified autonomous vehicle, dangerous situations may occur during the verification process. There is a limit to testing various unexpected situations and weather conditions, etc, and it is impossible to conduct sufficient tests. To solve these problems and achieve full autonomy, virtual test solutions that can replicate the complexity and scale of real road environment and traffic are needed. Autonomous driving simulation creates a virtual road environment identical to the real one to reproduce complex situations that can occur on a real road. In this environment built with digital twin technology, autonomous driving platform developers can verify scenarios for tens of thousands of situations with minimal resources.
Tara: Finally, are you excited to be part of ATxSG? What are your key showcases at the event?
Jiwon: We are excited to take part in CommunicAsia, the premier ICT event in the region. For this year’s CommunicAsia, we showcased MORAI SIM Drive, our true-to-life autonomous vehicle driving simulator. As the leading developer of full-stack autonomous vehicle simulation technology, MORAI strives to secure a safer way to validate autonomous driving systems.
MORAI SIM Drive can validate autonomous vehicles and provide simulation environments, sensors, and vehicle models identical to the real world. With the HD map and high-performance 3D graphic engine (Unity), MORAI SIM Drive automatizes building virtual environment and provides realistic network representation.
Jiwon Jung is the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) and Co-Founder of MORAI. With another Co-Founder Jun Hong, they founded MORAI by bringing together talents from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), a Korean version of MIT, to develop the best-in-class autonomous vehicle driving simulator. Responsible for the overall management and external affairs of MORAI, CEO Jung is spearheading the company’s growth. Jiwon is a Ph.D candidate in Aerospace Engineering at KAIST. He received his Master’s degree in the same field from KAIST.