NVIDIA Announces DRIVE System For Autonomous Vehicles

Nvidia's next-gen GPUs may be the GTX 11 Series

The Silicon Valley firm is ubiquitous in the budding self-driving technology sector, with ongoing partnerships with automakers, technology companies and auto suppliers, including Tesla Inc, Uber Technologies Inc, China'sBaidu Inc and Volkswagen AG.

The system allows for testing that would prove impractical with a real vehicle and could ease safety concerns that followed Uber's pedestrian fatality. "It's a reminder of how hard [self-driving car] technology is and that it needs to be approached with extreme caution and the best safety technologies", Nvidia said in a statement.

Ultimately, autonomous vehicles "will be far safer than human drivers, so this important work needs to continue", the Santa Clara, California-based company said in an email.

Huang also introduced the next generation of Nvidia's Drive PX platform, named Orin, built using multiple Pegasus platforms. We are temporarily suspending the testing of our self-driving cars on public roads to learn from the Uber incident.

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"With virtual simulation, we can increase the robustness of our algorithms by testing on billions of miles of custom scenarios and rare corner cases, all in a fraction of the time and cost it would take to do so on physical roads", said Rob Csongor, vice president of automotive at Nvidia, in a statement. The first server powers the Nvidia DRIVE Sim, a software set that emulates a self-driving car's various sensors, including its cameras, lidar and radar. 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). The second contains a powerful NVIDIA DRIVE Pegasus™ AI auto computer that runs the complete autonomous vehicle software stack and processes the simulated data as if it were coming from the sensors of a auto driving on the road.

Uber proactively suspended self-driving operations in all cities following the accident.

Testing may not involve putting self-driving cars on public streets, with all the safety issues that entails, but virtual environments aren't real ones, no matter how authentic the simulations seem.

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