NVIDIA debuts world's first commercial ‘Level 2+’ self-driving platform

NVIDIA has announced DRIVE AutoPilot, the world’s first commercially-available ‘Level 2+’ self-driving platform.

Debuted at this year’s CES, NVIDIA claims its groundbreaking platform integrates multiple AI technologies. The company believes the first self-driving vehicles to use it will go into production next year.

‘Level 2+’ means the car has automated driving features but requires constant supervision. The solution also brings more data into the car which vehicle manufacturers can use for a richer cockpit experience; with more insightful visualisations.

Such powerful capabilities require a lot more computing power than is currently available in today’s vehicles.

Rob Csongor, VP of Autonomous Machines at NVIDIA, said:

“A full-featured, Level 2+ system requires significantly more computational horsepower and sophisticated software than what is on the road today.

NVIDIA DRIVE AutoPilot provides these, making it possible for carmakers to quickly deploy advanced autonomous solutions by 2020 and to scale this solution to higher levels of autonomy faster.”

A recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study found the performance of self-driving technologies was inconsistent when it came to detecting other vehicles and the ability to stay within lanes on curvy or hilly roads. This often led to systems disengaging and the driver abruptly having to retake control.

NVIDIA claims DRIVE AutoPilot addresses the inconsistent performance found in past self-driving technologies.

Dominique Bonte, VP of Automotive Research at ABI Research, commented:

“Lane keeping and adaptive cruise control systems on the market today are simply not living up to the expectations of consumers.

The high-performance AI solutions from NVIDIA will deliver more effective active safety and more reliable automated driving systems in the near future.”

High-performance NVIDIA Xavier processors, which delivers 30 trillion operations per second of processing capability, will be used in tandem with the DRIVE software to process deep neural networks.

These neural networks combine with external sensors to gain the perception needed for autopilot features including highway merges, lane changes, and lane splits.

German automotive suppliers Continental AG and ZF Friedrichshafen AG have announced they will be using NVIDIA’s DRIVE AutoPilot platform for self-driving systems next year.

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