Nvidia develops virtual testing platform for self-driving cars

Nvidia develops virtual testing platform for self-driving cars

At CES in January, the company announced that it was partnering with Uber on its autonomous vehicle tests.

The move to pause the tests comes one week after a self-driving Uber auto, which incorporates Nvidia technology in its self-driving vehicles, struck and killed a woman in Arizona.

The system allows for testing that would prove impractical with a real vehicle and could ease safety concerns that followed Uber's pedestrian fatality.

Autonomous vehicles are already on the streets and will soon be driving people around versus being tested.

Alphabet's self-driving auto unit Waymo announced last month that its test vehicles had achieved 5 million self-driven miles since 2009, when the company started the tests. Ultimately [autonomous vehicles] will be far safer than human drivers, so this important work needs to continue.

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They also announced the NVIDIA DRIVE Pegasus AI auto computer to run the autonomous software stack and process the data from driving. News of Nvidia's self-driving vehicle testing suspension was first reported by Reuters. We are temporarily suspending the testing of our self-driving cars on public roads to learn from the Uber incident.

Speaking at the opening keynote of GTC 2018, NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang announced NVIDIA DRIVE™ Constellation, a computing platform based on two different servers. "Our global fleet of manually driven data collection vehicles continue to operate", said the Nvidia spokesperson in a statement.

"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.

The simulation server is powered by NVIDIA GPUs, each generating a stream of simulated sensor data, which feed into the DRIVE Pegasus for processing.

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. "See the latest breakthroughs in self-driving cars, smart cities, healthcare, big data, high performance computing, virtual reality and more", writes the firm. Waymo uses simulation in addition to physical testing.

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