Wednesday, 06 April 2016 15:56

Nvidia backs autonomous car racing competition

By

As part of its efforts to foster the self-driving car industry, Nvidia is backing the Roborace series that will run as part of the 2016/17 Formula E season.

Formula E is for electric-power racing cars, but Roborace goes a step further by replacing the driver with electronics and programming.

Roborace cars will use Nvidia's recently announced Drive PX 2 'AI supercomputer,' CEO and co-founder Jen-Hsun Huang announced today.

Ten teams will take part in Roborace, he said, each entering two electric-powered cars.

Since all the hardware is the same, Roborace is "a software competition," said Nvidia's senior director for automotive Danny Shapiro, adding that the company is very excited about the race series.

"Drive PX is really a platform, and it scales," Shapiro explained. Drive PX 2 is a "production grade" platform already being used by around 80 organisations including traditional car makers, startups and research centres"

Exactly how much processing power will be required by production vehicles will depend on the applications car companies build on top of Nvidia's DriveWorks software (voice or gesture command processing, infotainment and so on) but Shapiro said there will probably be optimised versions of the board once those requirements become clear - the use of six rather than 12 cameras, for example.

Huang pointed out that the Drive PX 2 is equivalent to the boot-sized GPU accelerated supercomputer (pictured below) that Baidu built for its experimental autonomous vehicle. If you look closely, Huang is holding a Drive PX 2 - that's a lot less hardware to carry around in a vehicle.

Huang Drive PX 2 Baidu car system

Drive PX 2 features include the ability to detect up to 15,000 important points from every frame from each of its 12 camera inputs.

The design includes support for crowdsourced HD maps - finely detailed information about lanes, junctions and so on is sent to the cloud, and the resulting maps are made available to other vehicles. The more information that is already available about the road, the less has to be collected and processed by the autonomous car. Nvidia is already working with TomTom and other mapping and navigation companies..

DriveNet is based on the 'deep learning' concept - rather than trying to program a set of instructions that explain how to drive a vehicle, the software goes through a trial and error process and learns how to get a satisfactory outcome.

But that trial and error doesn't have to be all in the real world. Simulated inputs can be used in conjunction with appropriate feedback, and this gives the model a chance to learn about rare situations ('corner cases') that call for special treatment.

Nvidia technical marketing analyst Robert Perry previously demonstrated this ability to journalists, using a CAD model of a car park - the deep learning model had to drive around looking for a space and then manoeuvre into it. To make the outcome intelligible to humans, the environment and the moving vehicle are visualised using a 3D gaming engine.

The models would normally be trained on a DGX-1 system and then transferred to a Drive PX or PX 2 to actually control a vehicle, said Huang.

Disclosure: the writer attended the GPU Technology Conference as a guest of Nvidia


Please join our community here and become a VIP.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here
JOIN our iTWireTV our YouTube Community here
BACK TO LATEST NEWS here

PROMOTE YOUR WEBINAR ON ITWIRE

It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site itwire.com and prominent Newsletter promotion https://itwire.com/itwire-update.html and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV https://www.youtube.com/c/iTWireTV/videos which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinatrs and campaigns and assassistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.

MORE INFO HERE!

INTRODUCING ITWIRE TV

iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the iTWire.com site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.

SEE WHAT'S ON ITWIRE TV NOW!

BACK TO HOME PAGE
Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous

VENDOR NEWS