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Optis’s virtualization tech will make building autonomous cars easier

The virtual prototyping company is partnering with two other firms in 2018.
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Bloomberg via Getty Images

Developing self driving vehicle technologies is hard -- just ask Google, or Uber, or Google that other time, or that one bus from Vegas. That's why a number of companies have been working to virtualize the development cycle so that untested technologies can crash and burn safely as their bugs are worked out. Among those companies is Optis, which announced on Tuesday that it will be partnering with two other firms to make virtual prototyping more accessible to the industry.

The first company is LeddarTech -- they developed a signal processing technology that's used in solid state LiDAR. LeddarTech and Optis will be working to create a vehicle simulation system so that vehicle manufacturers and OEMs will be able to virtually prototype and test their LiDAR systems. Specifically, Optis "can validate the LiDAR model and simulate the correct response from the LiDAR in real-time through a virtual closed loop simulation with automated driving functions," according to the company's release.

Optis is also working with Lucid Motors, an electric autonomous vehicle maker (though they haven't technically made any cars as of yet and might well be acquired by Ford before too long) to virtually test Lucid's next generation of smart headlights. The company's lighting system relies on an array of thousands of individual lenses to generate glare-free brightness. Lucid developed the lens system using Optis' virtualization program, which recreated realistic traffic conditions replete with oncoming cars, pedestrians and various weather conditions.

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