Nvidia develops virtual testing platform for self-driving cars

28 March, 2018, 01:28 | Author: Shannon Newton
  • Nvidia looks to the AI future		An interview with Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang		
		
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Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) announced that it would be halting its self-driving vehicle tests for a moment in order to ensure the safety of people on the road. 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. "Our global fleet of manually driven data collection vehicles continue to operate", said the Nvidia spokesperson in a statement.

The Nvidia DRIVE platform is now used by over 370 companies developing self-driving technology, including automakers and robotaxi companies and those making self-driving hardware, such as sensors, said Huang.

"I believe as a result of what happened last week, the amount of investment into the seriousness of [autonomous vehicles] is going to go up", he said during a question-and-answer session with journalists at the company's GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California today.

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Constellation relies on two different types of server, one running Drive Sim software to simulate photorealistic data from self-driving vehicles' sensors, such as lidar and cameras.

The simulation server is powered by NVIDIA GPUs, each one generating a stream of simulated sensor data, which then feeds into the DRIVE Pegasus for processing. For example, Intel Labs, together with the Toyota Research Institute and the Computer Vision Center in Barcelona, designed an open source driving simulator for training self-driving cars called CARLA (Car Learning to Act).

"Deploying production self-driving cars requires a solution for testing and validating on billions of driving miles to achieve the safety and reliability needed for customers", said Rob Csongor, vice president and general manager of Automotive at NVIDIA.

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It's not yet clear to what degree Nvidia will rely on virtual testing versus real-world testing once its public driving tests resume. The vehicle was in autonomous mode when it struck the victim, and it is the first known pedestrian death involving a self-driving auto. (NVDA) announced on Tuesday that it will suspend its self-driving auto tests around the world.

It remains to be seen how effective Nvidia DRIVE Constellation is at putting self-driving cars through the paces and how that testing translates into the real world.

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