Nvidia Declines After Suspending Self-Driving Car Testing

Nvidia looks to the AI future

The second server is Nvidia's Drive Pegasus AI auto computer that runs a full autonomous-vehicle software stack, processing the simulated data the same way it would process data from a real self-driving auto.

The decision comes following the fatal Uber crash in Arizona, which may not have been caused by the self-driving technology, but still yielded some pause from other self-driving auto makers.

In the same time, the software was put through 2.7 billion miles of testing in a virtual world, allowing algorithms to be quickly refined and tested against numerous variations of certain tricky real-world or hypothetical scenarios. The data they generate is fed to the DRIVE Pegasus to be processed and fed back to the simulator.

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The simulation server is powered by NVIDIA GPUs, each generating a stream of simulated sensor data, which feed into the DRIVE Pegasus for processing. "With DRIVE Constellation, we've accomplished that by combining our expertise in visual computing and datacenters". This happens 30 times a second and validates algorithms to ensure the simulated vehicle is operating correctly.

Nvidia is best known for providing technology for other companies in sectors ranging from bitcoin mining to self-driving cars, but it also has its own fleet of self-driving cars, used for research and development purposes. It can simulate different weather such as rainstorms and snowstorms; blinding glare at different times of the day, or limited vision at night; and all different types of road surfaces and terrain. This way companies can test how their cars react to unsafe situations without endangered people or the product. We are temporarily suspending the testing of our self-driving cars on public roads to learn from the Uber incident.

DRIVE Constellation will be available to early access partners in the third quarter of 2018. "See the latest breakthroughs in self-driving cars, smart cities, healthcare, big data, high performance computing, virtual reality and more", writes the firm. Huang said the platform uses two different servers. Nvidia is now leading the charge in developing technologies for self-driving vehicles, and it's not taking the news of Uber's fatal crash lightly.

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