The chipmaker prepares automakers for the world of robotaxis.
At the center of many of the semi-autonomous cars currently on the road is NVIDIA hardware. Once automakers realized that GPUs could power their latest features, the chipmaker, best known for the graphics cards that make your games look outstanding, became the darling of the car world.
But while automakers are still dropping level 2 and sometimes level 3 vehicles into the market, NVIDIA's first AI computer, the NVIDIA Drive PX Pegasus, is apparently capable of level 5 autonomy. That means no pedals, no steering wheel, no need for anyone to ever take control.
The new computer delivers 320 trillion operations per second, 10 times more than its predecessor. Before you start squirreling away cash for your own self-driving car, though, NVIDIA's senior director of automotive, Danny Shapiro, notes that it's likely going to be robotaxis that drive us around.
In fact, the company said that over 25 of its partners are already working on fully autonomous taxis. The goal with this smaller, more powerful computer is to remove the huge computer arrays that sit in the prototype vehicles of OEMs, startups and any other company that's trying to crack the autonomous car nut.
NVIDIA's announcement should make all those companies happy. The computing needed to power a self-driving car's AI and data-crunching, not to mention the huge amounts of data coming from potentially dozens of cameras, LiDAR sensors, short and long-range radar is staggering and usually means there's a small server room stored in the trunk. All that processing power sucks up a ton of power from the vehicle and as more cars are going electric, the last thing an automaker wants is a system that cuts into the range of their new car.
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