At CES in January, the company announced that it was partnering with Uber on its autonomous vehicle tests.
At the company's annual GTC Summit in San Jose, California, Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang announced a two-server solution that simulates data generated by a self-driving auto and trains a driving algorithm using that data.
The system allows for testing that would prove impractical with a real vehicle and could ease safety concerns that followed Uber's pedestrian fatality.
Nvidia is temporarily pausing its self-driving vehicle tests on public roads. "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.
The simulation platform follows Nvidia's statement that it was temporarily halting its self-driving auto tests following the fatal Uber crash last week.
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During this morning's opening keynote to a packed audience of developers, journalists and other industry professionals, Huang announced The new NVIDIA DRIVE Constellation, a cloud-based system simulator for autonomous driving using photorealistic simulation.
"This tragedy is exactly why we've committed ourselves to perfecting this life-saving technology". In the meantime, until Nvidia can sign off on the safety of its self-driving vehicle technology, the company isn't willing to put lives at risk.
The chipmaker is testing self-driving technology globally including in New Jersey, Santa Clara, Japan and Germany. Ultimately [autonomous vehicles] will be far safer than human drivers, so this important work needs to continue. "Our global fleet of manually driven data collection vehicles continue to operate". The first server powers the Nvidia DRIVE Sim, a software set that emulates a self-driving car's various sensors, including its cameras, lidar and radar.
"Deploying production self-driving cars requires a solution for testing and validating on billions of driving miles to achieve the safety and reliability needed for customers", said Rob Csongor, vice president and general manager of Automotive at NVIDIA.
The testing may be taking place in a virtual environment, but it's happening on the same hardware and software that would be found in a self-driving auto, Nvidia's Danny Shapiro explained in a briefing.