Test-Driven Development for Autonomous Vehicles

The Ruby on Rails world is creating a more Robust Open-Source Solution for TDD for Autonomous Vehicles

My friends and former colleagues at Voyage have released their self-driving car testing process as an open-source repository on GitHub.

Their website also includes concise explanations of the core features:

· Scenario Testing

· Functional Safety

· Autonomy Assessment

· Testing Toolkit

The framework is currently modest, as expected for a first release, but helpful. And the point of the exercise is to engage the self-driving car community in building out a robust, open-source solution to autonomous vehicle testing. What gets me really excited about this is the potential to create a path toward test-driven development for autonomous vehicles.

The Ruby on Rails world, which was my world for years, is fanatical about testing. They love testing so much  One of Rails’ engineers most beloved development principles is Test-Driven Development.

TDD is the process of designing and developing your code using tests first. The mantra “red-green-refactor” is familiar to any Rails engineer, as TDD requires:

· Writing a test case

· Verifying that the application fails the test case (red)

· Writing the application code to pass the test case

· Watching it pass (green)

· Fixing and improving the application code (refactor)

· Verifying that the application code still passes the test case

Rinse and repeat.

I loved this cycle as a Rails engineer and I love the idea that a public testing framework for autonomous vehicles could provide a red-green-refactor cycle for autonomous vehicle developers.

Take a self-driving car scenario. Watch the virtual driver software fail. Write the code to pass the scenario. Watch the virtual driver pass. Refactor. Verify that the virtual driver keeps on passing that test case forever.

Of course, we don’t need a public, open-source testing framework to do this. Any self-driving car engineer anywhere can use TDD by themselves. But a public test suite would take a lot of the work out of TDD, by pre-specifying the hurdles that developers need to clear.

Hopefully that would lead to safer self-driving cars, sooner.

David Silver
David Silver is head of self-driving cars at Udacity and is an active medium blogger. Learn to build self-driving cars with us: https://udacity.com/drive

The Related Post

The huge range of mobile devices used to browse the web now means testing a mobile website before delivery is critical.
LogiGear Magazine – April 2014 – Test Tool and Automation
The challenges with any automation effort is to know your capability. I’ve seen too many automation efforts begin and end with a tool decision. Generally these tools are very complex pieces of software that do many more things then we would ever use in our normal everyday testing. It even adds more misery to the ...
A short-list of selection criteria and popular automation tools. There are a lot of test automation tools available in the market, from heavy-duty enterprise level tools to quick and dirty playback-and-record tools for browser testing. For anyone just starting their research we’ve put together a short list of requirements and tools to consider.
LogiGear Magazine – January 2011 – The Test Automation Issue
5 roadblocks in vehicular autonomy that complicate Software Testing Experts in the field have previously referred to air travel as somewhat of a gold standard for autonomous vehicle safety, but after Boeing’s two tragedies, that analogy can no longer be used when talking about self-driving cars. This was after Boeing’s 737 MAX Jets have found ...
Bringing in experts can set you up for automation success. Test automation isn’t easy when your testing gets beyond a few hundred test cases. Lots of brilliant testers and large organizations have, and continue to struggle with test automation, and not for lack of effort. Everyone understands the value of test automation, but few testing ...
September Issue 2019: Advancing Automation
Divide and conquer was a strategy successfully employed by ancient Persian kings against their Greek enemies. It is a strategy that can still be used successfully today. Fundamentally, by dividing something into smaller more manageable pieces (in the case of the ancient Persians, they divided the Greek city states), it becomes much more manageable.
As I wrote in various articles, organization is one of the 3 key requisites for successful automated testing, the other two being test design and automation architecture.
Mobile usage today is not just a trend but it is an essential shift in how people communicate with each other, interact with the world, and do business. According to a ComScore, in 2014 the number of mobile users surpassed the number of computer users and is showing strong growth over time, towards some point in ...
Over the years, we’ve provided an extensive number of articles that provide a wealth of knowledge about Test Automation. Below is a compilation of some of those articles. Guide to Automated Voice Apps Testing This article explores some of the basic test tools you’ll need and how to blend the use different automated testing tools ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Stay in the loop with the lastest
software testing news

Subscribe