Nvidia Shares Jump As It Debuts Computer For Self-Driving Cars

Nvidia Shares Jump As It Debuts Computer For Self-Driving Cars

Some 225 partners are developing on the Drive PX platform, with Nvidia estimating that in excess of 25 of these companies are working on fully autonomous robotaxis employing Nvidia CUDA GPUs. NVIDIA wants to help with that, introducing its third-generation Drive PX platform at GTC Europe 2017 today.

Nvidia claims that Pegasus can run the Class 5 cars entirely, delivering over 320 trillion operations per second, or 10 times more than the power of its predecessor. The company introduced the new system at a GPU conference in Munich, Germany. This automotive-centric supercomputer brings unmatched deep learning and computer vision number crunching performance in a footprint smaller than a standard license plate.

The new system, named Pegasus, extends the NVIDIA Drive PX AI computing platform to operate vehicles with Level 5 autonomy-without steering wheels, pedals, or mirrors.

Like rivals Intel Corp. and Qualcomm Inc., the company is trying to parlay its core skill - computer graphics processing - into leadership in autonomous vehicles, a potential growth area for the semiconductor industry. New types of cars will be invented, resembling offices, living rooms or hotel rooms on wheels.

"Driverless cars will enable new ride- and car-sharing services", Nvidia Chief Executive Jensen Huang said in a statement. Their size, power demands and cost make them impractical for production vehicles. Chips based on the Volta architecture are only now spreading into well-funded datacenters, and the GPUs on the Pegasus board are based on Volta's future successor.

More news: Google publishes unedited Pixel 2 photos and videos - check them out here

Pegasus is designed for ASIL D certification - the industry's highest safety level - with automotive inputs/outputs, including CAN (controller area network), Flexray, 16 dedicated high-speed sensor inputs for camera, radar, lidar and ultrasonics, plus multiple 10Gbit Ethernet connectors. It'll be able to drive around and wait on the other side of a block of flats so a driver can simply keep walking forward and through a building without having to return back to the vehicle.

Nvidia plans to start shipping Pegasus units in the second half of 2018.

NVIDIA's automotive director Danny Shapiro said in an interview that numerous first 25 customers using Pegasus chips would focus on robotaxis, which will be built without steering wheels or brakes and used only on dedicated routes.

Nvidia shares were up 3.7%, near 192.20, in premarket trading on the stock market today.

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