Nvidia has unveiled the world’s first artificial intelligence computer codenamed Pegasus to drive fully autonomous robotaxis.
According to a company press release, the new system will extend the Nvidia Drive PX AI computing platform to handle Level 5 driverless vehicles. It delivers over 320 trillion operations per second – more than 10 times the performance of its predecessor, the Nvidia Drive PX 2.
The new system will accordingly bring to the fore a new class of vehicles that can operate without a driver, without steering wheels, pedals or mirrors, and interiors that feel like a living room or office. They will arrive on demand to safely whisk passengers to their destinations, bringing mobility to everyone, including the elderly and disabled.
Nvidia Drive PX Pegasus is powered by four high-performance AI processors. It couples two of Nvidia’s newest Xavier system-on-a-chip processors – featuring an embedded GPU based on the Nvidia Volta architecture – with two next-generation discrete GPUs with hardware created for accelerating deep learning and computer vision algorithms.
According to Nvidia’s engineers, the system will provide the enormous computational capability for fully autonomous vehicles in a computer the size of a license plate, drastically reducing energy consumption and cost.
The computational requirements of robotaxis are enormous; they have to perceive the world through high-resolution, 360-degree surround cameras and lidars, localizing the vehicle within centimeter accuracy, tracking vehicles and people around the car, and planning a safe and comfortable path to the destination.
All this processing must be done with multiple levels of redundancy to ensure the highest level of safety. The computing demands of driverless vehicles are easily 50 to 100 times more intensive than the most advanced cars today.
“Creating a fully self-driving car is one of society’s most important endeavors – and one of the most challenging to deliver,” said Jensen Huang, Nvidia founder and CEO. “The breakthrough AI computing performance and efficiency of Pegasus is crucial for the industry to realize this vision.”
Image credits and content: Nvidia