The chipmaker, which has provided technology to Uber's self-driving cars, is testing self-driving technology globally including in New Jersey, Santa Clara, Japan and Germany.
Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) announced that it would be halting its self-driving auto tests for a moment in order to ensure the safety of people on the road. 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.
One of the servers in Nvidia's new Drive Constellation Simulation System, powered by the company's GPUs, runs Nvidia-developed Drive Sim software, which simulates cameras, LIDAR, RADAR - sensors a self-driving vehicle uses to observe its physical environment. We are temporarily suspending the testing of our self-driving cars on public roads to learn from the Uber incident.
Besides the benefit of safety, virtualizing the road test makes it possible to train the algorithm much faster, the company said.
The computing platform is based on two different servers.
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.
The first server runs NVIDIA DRIVE Sim software to simulate a self-driving vehicle's sensors, such as cameras, lidar and radar.
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. The server sends driving commands back to the simulator, completing what the company calls the "hardware-in-the-loop cycle". Nvidia will suspend its autonomous vehicle testing in public roads for a limited time.
Less than 10 days ago, an Uber self-driving auto struck and killed a pedestrian who was walking outside of a crosswalk in Tempe, Arizona.
Uber isn't the only company affected by this incident; the fatality puts heavy scrutiny on other autonomous auto initiatives. Waymo uses simulation in addition to physical testing.