NVIDIA Raises its Autonomous Car Technology to a New Level

Nvidia’s technology in the new Audi A8 is some of the most advanced on the road today and reveals what’s possible at the moment.

Vineeth Joel Patel
    Jul 20, 2017 10:30 AM  PT
NVIDIA Raises its Autonomous Car Technology to a New Level
author: Vineeth Joel Patel   

Nvidia is one of the biggest names in the autonomous scene at the moment. The company has entered into numerous, and we're talking a lot here, partnerships that see other companies and automakers use Nvidia's technology to get their vehicles to drive themselves. 

Recently, Nvidia partnered with Baidu to help bring the company's self-driving project, "Project Apollo" to the road. And Volkswagen also turned to Nvidia for help, as it plans to use the partnership for artificial intelligence and deep learning. There are many, many more examples of how Nvidia is helping companies get self-driving tech onto the road, and it's not just with cars, as the company is also working with PACCAR to bring out autonomous trucks. 

Nvidia Takes Audi To A New Level

While Nvidia's driverless technology is impressive, the company recently debuted some of its new work on the new Audi A8 and it's staggering. Thanks to Nvidia, Audi's A8 is the first vehicle to be capable of Level 3 automation, which is an incredible feat. According to SAE, there are five levels of automation. The Tesla Model S, which is one of the most advanced self-driving cars on road, ranks in as a Level 2 car. 

While it would seem like Audi has Tesla beat, even if it's just for bragging rights, The Motley Fool claims that the comparison is apples to oranges, as autonomous standards are not universal. Still, the news is huge for Nvidia, as it shows that the company's self-driving tech is taking even more steps towards a fully autonomous, Level 5 vehicle. 

The Tech Behind The Car

As the report points out, Nvidia and Audi have been partners for many years, but the relationship took a turn when the German automaker announced that it would be using Nvidia's new platform, the Drive PX 2 in a new vehicle. The culmination of the two companies working together resulted in Audi's zFAS system, which allows the A8 to drive autonomously at speeds of up to 37 mph without requiring the driver's hands to be on the steering wheel. 

According to SAE levels, a Level 3 car can handle driving on highways and freeways on its own, without any input from the diver, allowing them to be able to read, eat, or multitask without having to worry about getting into an accident. And the mind-boggling improvements don't stop there, as Nvidia claims the sensors on the A8 will collect information at the staggering rate of 2.5 billion inputs per second. Why is that necessary? As The Motley Fool points out, the A8 is the first production car on the road to be fitted with LiDAR.  

All of this means that Nvidia will become, if it hasn't already, the go-to company to partner with. The company has raised the bar and the only way it can go from here is up. With automakers setting out insane goals like 2020 and 2021 as the date for the release of fully autonomous, Level 5 cars, it'll be up to companies like Nvidia to create the software and hardware for the machines. Clearly, the company is up for the challenge.

via: The Motley Fool