Published On: Wed, Mar 1st, 2017

Nvidia Has Been Given The Nod To Start Testing Its Self-Driving Cars

Nvidia has now joined the bandwagon to develop autonomous cars. You might be able to see a driverless car rolling around in California with the iconic Nvidia logo.

While the Nvidia is best known as a graphics-focused firm, the company just set out its intentions to enter the autonomous vehicle race at last year’s CES with the unveiling of Drive PX 2, a supercomputer for self-driving cars that the firm claims is as powerful as 150 MacBook Pros.

The Drive PX 2 sports 12 CPU cores and has eight teraflops of processing power, and similar to around six Titan X video cards, and comes out with built-in water-cooling to ensure it doesn’t overheat. Nvidia claims the Drive PX 2 can achieve 24 trillion operations a second, achieving over ten times more computational horsepower than the Drive PX predecessor.

Nvidia's driverless

Nvidia’s driverless

Nvidia's driverless

Nvidia’s driverless

Nvidia was granted a permit by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) last month, giving the firm the green light to start testing self-driving vehicle technology on the state’s public roads

The firm already produces processing units which are used in autonomous driving systems, and has worked with several companies already on the list, including Tesla – supplying processing power for their driverless systems.

The permit notes that, if Nvidia’s driverless vehicles are involved in an accident, the firm must provide DMV with a Report of Traffic Accident Involving an Autonomous Vehicle within the 10 business days of the incident. It requires Nvidia to submit an annual report “summarising the disengagements of the technology during testing.”

Nvidia is doing the testing solo, with the aim of building its own contained, intelligent learning autonomous driving system — which it could presumably then add to the list of things it can supply to automakers looking for the ready-to-drive systems from top-tier suppliers in the future, as an alternative to having to develop their own.