Why Tesla recreated San Francisco in Unreal Engine?

Thibaut Popelier

Gaming Specialist

September 21, 2022 at 11:45 a.m.


Tesla Unreal Engine © Tesla


Automatic driving on Tesla vehicles is not yet fully developed. Thus, in order to perfect its technology, the car manufacturer has chosen a tool usually used in the video game industry.

Indeed, the Unreal Engine has recently been put to use in an attempt to recreate entire portions of a famous American city.

A crucial step on the road to success

For several years, Tesla has come under fire when it comes to testing Autopilot and its self-driving functionality on public roads. Some vehicle owners have actually encountered quite spectacular (and dangerous) technical problems with these functions. However, the firm led by Elon Musk performs a whole battery of tests before launching its cars in the wild.

If Tesla employees, for example, have the opportunity to test the autopilot on closed routes, the first tests are indeed carried out within a simulation. This week, the site Electrek was able to obtain interesting information on this subject… because Tesla has partnered with a major entertainment brand to develop its simulator.

Beyond video games

Thus, we learn that it is the Unreal Engine of Epic Games (Fortnite) which is used by the manufacturer’s teams to test Autopilot and autonomous driving. Thanks to this engine, Tesla was able to recreate parts of the city of San Francisco. To close the loop, many environmental artists who once worked on well-known video game licenses (such as call of duty) were hired. They now create photorealistic 3D scenes capable of accurately modeling the driving experience in a wide range of locations and conditions “.

Tesla Unreal Engine © Electrek

© Electrek

All this is therefore made possible by the capabilities of the very recent Unreal Engine 5. The rendering would be so realistic that Elon Musk would think of making his simulations accessible to the public. They could even serve as a basis for the creation of new video games. This is not necessarily surprising since the South African engineer has been interested in the gaming industry for several years.

Source : Electrek

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