Nvidia's updated Drive PX 2 computer will drive autonomous cabs

Nvidia's new Drive PX 2 is designed for automated highway and point-to-point driving by autonomous cars

Recent accidents involving Tesla cars may have been a setback for self-driving cars, but Nvidia believes a fast computer under the hood could make autonomous cars and cabs truly viable.

The company's new Drive PX 2 model is a palm-sized computer for autonomous cars that will marry mapping with artificial intelligence for automated highway and point-to-point driving. The computer's horsepower will help a car navigate, avoid collisions and make driving decisions.

The Drive PX 2 could be attractive to companies like Uber, which want to deploy autonomous cars as taxis. The computer is also targeted at car makers looking to develop fully or partially autonomous cars, which would typically need human intervention.

The computer is already ticketed for use in a self-driving car from Chinese company Baidu. The car will rely on the computer and cloud-based AI for car control, navigation, self parking and collision avoidance. The car is more a demonstration vehicle to highlight emerging autonomous car technologies.

In late August, Nvidia and Baidu announced they would jointly create a "cloud-to-car autonomous car platform" for car makers. It would use Baidu’s cloud services and mapping technology with Nvidia's self-driving hardware and programming tools.

Automotive and tech companies are developing fully autonomous vehicles. The U.S. government is keeping a close watch, encouraging the development of autonomous cars and asking companies to keep driver safety in mind.

However, legal questions about self-driving cars remain. Standards are also being established by mapping and automotive companies so cars can exchange critical sensor data -- like road conditions and weather -- via the cloud. The sensor data, if freely available for autonomous cars to reference, could contribute to safer driving.

The new Nvidia computer is like a small PC, and combines computing power and algorithms to help cars navigate, self park, avoid obstacles and recognize signals, signs and lanes.

It has a Tegra chip that combines one six-core CPU code-named Parker and one Pascal-based GPU. It is a watered down version of the original Drive PX 2 announced at CES, which sits in the trunk of a car and is far more powerful with two CPUs and two GPUs.

Over time, the Drive PX 2 can be trained to provide better location and contextual awareness. Cars will get better at recognizing objects and can make better decisions on a wider variety of situations over time.

The Drive PX 2 trains autonomous cars by analyzing data gathered from cameras, GPS, ultrasonic sensors, radar, lidar and other components.

If the car can't recognize an object or find its way to a location, it can refer to a larger knowledge base in the cloud. Nvidia said it will be possible to transfer a training model and data gathered by Drive PX 2 to the cloud, which will strengthen the knowledge base.

The autonomous car is central to Nvidia's wide-ranging deep learning strategy, in which the company's GPUs are being used for image recognition, natural language processing and scientific simulations. The GPUs are also being used to navigate drones and robots.

Nvidia is off to a good start in the autonomous car market. Volvo is developing an autonomous car based on the original Drive PX 2 introduced at CES, and the chip maker is already working with Ford, Audi and BMW on autonomous vehicle technologies.

Intel is Nvidia's biggest competitor in the car market. BMW hopes to put an autonomous car on the road by 2021, for which Intel and Mobileye are supplying the hardware and software technologies.

The single-chip version of the Drive PX 2 will ship in the fourth quarter. Car makers, automotive suppliers and researchers are developing autonomous car prototypes based on various Drive PX computers. The Parker CPU has four 64-bit Cortex-A57 cores and two homegrown Denver 2.0 CPU cores, both based on ARM architectures.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags automotive ITAutomotivecarsnvidia

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?