Driver’s ed for robotaxis: A grueling exam looms for self-driving cars

CNN Business spoke with simulation experts at 10 companies including automakers, big tech companies and startups that are entirely focused on simulation. They’re spending millions to answer a big question: What should be on the test?

Cruise, GM’s self-driving team, runs 200,000 hours of simulated tests every day. Waymo, the self-driving arm of Google’s parent company, has simulated more than 10 billion miles of driving.

Self-driving companies are embracing simulation testing because it’s affordable, time-efficient and safe. The risk of on-road tests surfaced last year when an Uber test vehicle killed a pedestrian. Simulations allow companies to test situations that you wouldn’t want to put a self-driving car in — like a child running into its path from behind a parked car — but nevertheless need to.