Nvidia Develops Virtual Testing Platform For Autonomous Cars

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Nvidia has introduced a cloud-based system for testing autonomous vehicles using photo-realistic simulation. It’s called Nvidia Drive Constellation and is a computing platform based on two different servers. The first server runs the Drive Sim software to simulate a self-driving vehicle’s sensors, such as cameras, lidar and radar. The second contains a powerful Nvidia Drive Pegasus AI car computer that runs the complete autonomous vehicle software stack and processes the simulated data as if it were coming from the sensors of a car driving on the road.

The company already has partnerships in the industry with companies such as carmaker, Volkswagen AG, Tesla, China’s Baidu and even Uber Technologies and makes computer graphics chips and has also been expanding into technology for self-driving cars.

(Nvidia has already partnered with Volkswagen, Baidu, Uber and Tesla)

Rob Csongor, Vice President and general manager of Automotive at Nvidia, said, “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. With DRIVE Constellation, we’ve accomplished that by combining our expertise in visual computing and datacenters. 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.”

The simulation server is powered by NVIDIA GPUs, each generating a stream of simulated sensor data, which feed into the DRIVE Pegasus for processing. DRIVE Sim software generates photoreal data streams to create a vast range of different testing environments. It can simulate different weather such as rainstorms and snowstorms; blinding glare at different times of the day, or limited vision at night; and all different types of road surfaces and terrain. Dangerous situations can be scripted in simulation to test the autonomous car’s ability to react, without ever putting anyone in harm’s way.

Nvidia’s Drive Constellation will be available to early access partners in the third quarter of 2018 For the latest auto news and reviews, follow CarAndBike on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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