NVIDIA Launches Chip for Autonomous Vehicles

NVIDIA Launches Chip for Autonomous Vehicles

The Drive PX Pegasus succeeds Nvidia's current Drive PX 2 computing platform.

SILICON Valley graphics chipmaker NVIDIA unveiled yesterday the first computer chips for developing fully autonomous vehicles and said it had more than 25 customers working to build a new class of driverless cars, robotaxis and long-haul trucks.

The new platform, code-named Pegasus, serves as the brain of a self-driving vehicle.

The new Drive PX Pegasus will produce over 320 trillion operations per seconds, which is equals to more than 10 times its forerunner's processing power.

The new computer will be part of Nvidia's existing Drive PX platform, which the GPU-maker offers to automotive companies in order to provide the processing power for their self-driving auto systems.

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Several of the announcements were aimed at self-driving cars, including an AI computer dubbed Drive PX Pegasus to power robotic taxi cabs and a driving simulator called Re-Sim for testing autonomous vehicle apps against real world conditions. That's especially true of Level 5 vehicles that don't require human drivers, steering wheels, pedals or mirrors. New types of cars will be invented, resembling offices, living rooms or hotel rooms on wheels. They will arrive on demand to safely whisk passengers to their destinations, bringing mobility to everyone, including the elderly and disabled.

"The development of autonomous delivery vehicles demonstrates how AI and deep learning are also reshaping the commercial transportation industry", explained Jensen Huang, Nvidia's founder and CEO. The company isn't predicting when they'll make their way onto public highways.

Regarded as the holy grail of robotic driving, Level Five autonomy is far beyond what today's cars are capable of. This can enable the vehicle to use AI to understand its environment, plan a safe path forward, proceed along a selected route and park itself - ensuring deliveries can be made with greater accuracy and safety, and at lower cost. The GPGPU approach to self driving is quickly gaining popularity and NVIDIA is one of the few companies on Earth that can scale performance faster than you can make use of it.

Pegasus will be available to NVIDIA's automotive partners in the second half of 2018, the press release said.

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