Mobility21 is Making Self-Driving Cars Safer with Grand Theft Auto

As part of Mobility21, Rahul Mangharam uses a modified version of Grand Theft Auto to test the decision-making process for self-driving cars. The goal: a “drivers license” for autonomous vehicles that would make certain safety assurances.

Mobility21 is a new research partnership, funded by a five-year, $14 million grant from the Department of Transportation, that tackles all manners of transportation problems through the use of new information and sensing technologies.

Penn’s arm of the partnership, the third of its type for the University, will operate out of the PRECISE Center under the leadership of its co-director, Rahul Mangharam, associate professor in the departments of Electrical and Systems Engineering and in Computer and Information Science.

He recently hosted the Philadelphia Inquirer and showed off some some of the group’s latest research: modeling a self-driving car’s decision-making process using a video game.

Read more in Jason Laughlin’s article “Can driverless cars be safe? Grand Theft Auto helps Penn scientists find out.”