Self-Driving Cars — 7 Steps to deploy a service

This article has been updated on


This story is a series of 2! Find the story about project management in self-driving vehicles here!

Step 0 — Context: an Autonomous Shuttle on a School Campus

Step 1 — Project Definition

The general questions involve the definition of the different participants, the overall budget, and the definition of the hardware.

Step 1 is the entire definition of the project. Every aspect must be included. It should take several days, especially if the company is doing it for the first time.

Step 2 — Robotization and hardware

Photo by milan degraeve on Unsplash

This second step takes about a month, from the first meeting to the initial tests and the delivery.

Step 3 — Test the robot

The system must react in a way that will be safe and smooth for the passengers.

The tests are done on a test track that has the same conditions as the end road.
For more information, you can refer to my “Autonomous Driving Test Track” article.

Step 4 — Coding the car

This is the heart of the project: coding a self-driving car.

(image taken at MILLA GROUP)

Step 5 — Adapting the algorithms

If we reach Step 5, it means that we have a working robot, and some code integrated.


Adapting the code is mandatory, and can take much longer than developing the code itself.

Step 6 — Panel testing

Step 7 — Demo & Large Scale testing


These 7 steps are taken from my experience in 3 self-driving car launches. Some companies may not share these as they might have different budgets or conditions. For example, robotization can be replaced with adapting an existing car. Software development can be replaced with software purchase from other companies or even consulting.

It doesn’t take that long to code self-driving cars. People usually expect years of development. Some engineers can code a self-driving car that performs 70–80% of the cases in a week. To reach 90% use-cases coverage, it can take a month, or a few month.

The hard part in self-driving cars is to build a car that can drive in most cases, and thus reach 99–100%.


Jeremy Cohen.

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Jeremy Cohen

AI & Self-Driving Car Engineer —I teach people how to join the Autonomous Tech world!