After Fatal Uber Incident, Nvidia Defers Autonomous Car Testing On Public Roads

28 March, 2018, 01:29 | Author: Darren Santiago
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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. "It's a reminder of how hard SDC technology is and that it needs to be approached with extreme caution and the best safety technologies", a Nvidia spokesperson said in an email. Ultimately [autonomous vehicles] will be far safer than human drivers, so this important work needs to continue. "DRIVE Constellation for virtually testing and validating will bring us a step closer to the production of self-driving cars". Nvidia had been testing its autonomous driving technology in New Jersey, California, Japan and Germany.

Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) announces the Drive Constellation system for running self-driving vehicle simulations. Among the highlights was his announcement of an update to NVIDIA DRIVE, the AI platform for autonomous driving, which now includes a autonomous driving simulator to support autonomous driving development. In the meantime, until Nvidia can sign off on the safety of its self-driving vehicle technology, the company isn't willing to put lives at risk.

The system runs on two servers.

The simulation server is powered by NVIDIA GPUs, each generating a stream of simulated sensor data, which feed 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).

The second server houses the Nvidia DRIVE Pegasus AI, which will process the gathered data as if it's coming from sensors in a self-driving vehicle on the road.

Drive Constellation allows automakers and other developers to validate and strengthen the technology through billions of driving miles that allow for testing in hard scenarios.

Nvidia's announcements come at a pivotal time for the self-driving vehicle industry.

The simulation platform follows Nvidia's statement that it was temporarily halting its self-driving vehicle tests following the fatal Uber crash last week. Earlier today, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey suspended Uber's ability to test and operate self-driving cars on public roads in the state. Waymo uses simulation in addition to physical testing.

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