Raquel Urtasun, a professor of computer science in the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Arts & Science and CEO of Waabi Innovations, says the company has hit on a new strategy for training self-driving cars: an artificial intelligence-driven simulator.
The simulator puts a virtual driver through different traffic scenarios, flagging problems with its performance and helping it improve faster.
“We’ve flipped the equation for how much simulation versus real world [training] you need‚” Urtasun, the company’s founder, told the Globe and Mail this week. “It’s really the key for unlocking self-driving technology.”
A former chief scientist and head of Uber's autonomous vehicle unit, Urtasun left Uber after the division was sold to Aurora Innovation in 2020. She founded Waabi with more than $100-million in seed financing.