The company best known for its powerful graphics cards has in recent years waded into the self-driving vehicle waters, and it now counts over 370 partners in the space.
Arguments that the algorithm driving the Uber self-driving vehicle that struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona this month may not have been at fault did not matter to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, when he took away the company's ability to continue testing the technology in the state Monday, calling the incident "an unquestionable failure". Nvidia will suspend its autonomous vehicle testing in public roads for a limited time. "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.
Questions over the safety of self-driving cars are swirling in the wake of a fatality involving an Uber self-driving vehicle in Arizona. Ultimately [autonomous vehicles] will be far safer than human drivers, so this important work needs to continue.
Nvidia is working on self-driving cars of its own, as well, since some of its customers want the hardware maker to provide all the components necessary for them to create an autonomous vehicle. "DRIVE Constellation for virtually testing and validating will bring us a step closer to the production of self-driving cars".
Nvidia announced in January that Uber had selected Nvidia technology to power its self-driving auto AI, though Nvidia computing tech was already present in Uber's first fleet of Volvo XC90 SUVs.
The chipmaker is testing self-driving technology globally including in New Jersey, Santa Clara, Japan and Germany.
To no surprise, the simulation is powered by NVIDIA GPUs. The second contains a powerful NVIDIA DRIVE Pegasus™ AI auto computer that runs the complete autonomous vehicle software stack and processes the simulated data as if it were coming from the sensors of a auto driving on the road.
In the same time, the software was put through 2.7 billion miles of testing in a virtual world, allowing algorithms to be quickly refined and tested against numerous variations of certain tricky real-world or hypothetical scenarios. Earlier today, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey suspended Uber's ability to test and operate self-driving cars on public roads in the state. "See the latest breakthroughs in self-driving cars, smart cities, healthcare, big data, high performance computing, virtual reality and more", writes the firm.