Toyota, one of the world’s largest automakers and renowned for its high standards and priority on safety, has picked NVIDIA Drive PX for its autonomous vehicles. It will use the AI car computer platform to power advanced autonomous driving systems planned for market introduction within the next few years
Engineering teams from the two companies are already developing sophisticated software that will enhance the capabilities of Toyota vehicles, enabling them to better understand the massive volume of data generated by sensors on the car, and to handle the broad spectrum of autonomous driving situations.
“Toyota has worked on autonomous driving technologies for over 20 years with the aim of reducing traffic fatalities to zero as an ultimate goal, achieving smoother traffic, and providing mobility for all. Through this collaboration, we intend to accelerate the development of autonomous driving systems that are even more safe and capable,” said Ken Koibuchi, Executive General Manager of Toyota.
Toyota joins other car and truck makers — including Tesla, Audi, Volvo, and PACCAR — that are working on putting self-driving vehicles on the road based on NVIDIA AI technology.
“We envision a future society where autonomous vehicles whisk people safely and comfortably around beautiful cities. The development of a self-driving car is one of the greatest technical challenges that’s ever been tackled,” said Jensen Huang, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of NVIDIA.
“We’re combining breakthroughs in AI and high performance computing to build NVIDIA Drive PX, the brain of the autonomous car,” he added.
AI, and specifically deep learning, has become an important tool for the development of self-driving vehicles, particularly because of its ability to recognise and handle the nearly infinite number of scenarios encountered on the road.
Autonomous vehicles require an onboard supercomputer to process and interpret the data from all the sensors on the car. While many prototype vehicles contain a trunk full of computers to handle this complex task, the NVIDIA Drive PX platform equipped with the next-generation Xavier processor will fit in the hand and deliver 30 trillion deep learning operations per second.
The platform fuses data from cameras, lidar, radar and other sensors. The system can then use AI to understand the 360-degree environment surrounding the car, localise itself on an HD map and anticipate potential hazards while driving. In addition, the system software receives updates over the air, so the car can become smarter and smarter over time.
During his keynote address at GPU Technology Conference (GTC) last week, Huang also announced technologies that could revolutionise how the automotive industry designs and manufactures cars.
Christian von Koenigsegg, Founder of the super-car manufacturer Koenigsegg Automotive AB, joined Huang on the keynote stage via NVIDIA’s Project Holodeck collaborative VR environment.
GTC participants got an insight into the design review of the all-carbon-fibre US$1.9 million Koenigsegg Regera supercar as they watched engineers explore the car at scale and in full visual fidelity in the Holodeck, and consult on design changes in real time.
Huang also announced the new Isaac robot-training simulator, which will allow robots to be trained in the virtual world before they are deployed in the real world.
Working at super-human speeds, Isaac will enable teams to simulate the driving environment for the training and testing of autonomous vehicles.