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Gran Turismo 7's AI could power the future of self-driving cars

Sony's GT Sophy AI is beating the best Gran Turismo players and could help shape autonomous cars going forward.

Chris Button
Chris Button
2 min read
Gran Turismo 7's AI could power the future of self-driving cars

At the start of February, Sony showcased more of its upcoming PlayStation 5 race sim game Gran Turismo 7 in a digital State of Play Presentation. It looks to be an impressive game, but its AI system, however, could have real-world implications.

Alongside Gran Turismo 7, various Sony divisions have been working on GT Sophy, a driving AI filled with over 45,000 hours of machine learning that's absolutely kicking the backsides of the best digital drivers going around.

Not only is GT Sophy adept at making lightning-quick decisions on the racetrack, but it also adheres to the rules while leaving you in its rearview mirror.

And that's not even the most impressive part that's seen GT Sophy the cover star of the most recent edition of Nature, an international science journal.

As several machine learning experts discussed in Nature, via Wired, Sony's AI has far wider implications than just pantsing everyone in a video game.

Chris Gerdes, a Stanford professor studying autonomous driving labelled GT Sophy a "landmark achievement for AI", and that it could help develop the future of autonomous cars.

"GT Sophy’s success on the track suggests that neural networks might one day have a larger role in the software of automated vehicles than they do today."

While this is all very exciting, don't expect to be greeted by GT Sophy in a self-driving car just yet, as the challenge will be translating video game success into real-world scenarios where more complex decisions than the best racing line will become a factor.

Sony AI America director Peter Wurman views GT Sophy's proficiency at Gran Turismo as up there with AI mastering chess. Which, of course, an executive would say that about their own innovation, although it's difficult to disagree with the results so far.

As far as Gran Turismo 7 is concerned, GT Sophy will be in the game, but not at launch. The exact timing is unknown, so let's interpret that as a mercy period to get some pole positions before the AI destroys us all on the track.

Gran Turismo 7 launches on 4 March for both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. Amazon has listings for both the PS4 and PS5 versions available to pre-order.


Chris Button

Chris is an award-nominated writer based in Adelaide who specialises in covering video games and technology. He loves Donkey Kong Country, sport, and cats. The Last Jedi is the best one, no questions

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