Nvidia, Toyota Get Together on Self-Driving Cars

By Steve Anderson May 12, 2017

While at a recent industry event, Toyota offered a thought-provoking announcement that its upcoming line of self-driving cars would be powered by a Nvidia platform. While many may think that Nvidia is just a tool to drive video game graphics, there's a lot more than that going on under Nvidia's hood. Toyota is putting Nvidia's Drive PX supercomputer to work as part of that self-driving car line.

The self-driving cars are set to become available in just a few years, with some projecting that by 2020, the first ones will be on hand, able to drive where drivers—or perhaps now, occupants—tell said cars to go. This is also part of a larger development from Nvidia, which is actively trying to bring artificial intelligence (AI) to more products.

However, some parts of Toyota's projections are vague at best, as neither it nor Nvidia has defined which cars get the systems. There are also mixed reports about some cars that are completely autonomous for the elderly and the disabled, but other cars come with only partial autonomy; the “guardian angel” system driving such cars gives humans control, but takes over only to prevent an accident.

What's more, Nvidia's system hasn't exactly had a lot of fire-testing; the Drive PX system has only been around since 2015, reports note, with the improved Drive PX 2 version coming out just a year later. Though the processor driving it all—the Nvidia Xavier—has more than enough power for such operations at 30 trillion deep learning operations per second, it too is a comparatively recent invention, only coming out in September.

This is the inherent problem the system faces; Nvidia and Toyota are basically set to take these cars to market in 2020, by some reports, but to do so on the strength of systems that have really only existed since 2015. How would Nvidia and Toyota overcome the trust gap that almost certainly would arise from saying “Hey folks, get in this self-driving car! Its technology has existed for five whole years, and that's like an eternity in Internet time!”? If it can focus instead on concurrent testing and development, it can instead focus on man-hours spent on development.

Nvidia and Toyota will be asking a lot of people with these early-generation self-driving cars. In order to get around that issue, it's going to have to demonstrate safety unequivocally, especially if its primary market is the elderly and disabled. Still, the rest of us are eager for these cars to arrive as well; city traffic alone is reason enough to let much more reliable machines do the driving.




Edited by Alicia Young

Contributing Writer

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Is 5G a Spectrum-eating Monster that Destroys Competition?

By: Fred Goldstein    6/15/2018

To hear the current FCC talk about it, 5G mobile service is the be-all and end-all of not only mobile communications, but the answer to most of the co…

Read More

FX Group Makes the Red Carpet Shoppable with Blockchain-Based mCart Marketplace-as-a-Service

By: TMCnet News    6/14/2018

mCart by Mavatar announces the launch of the world's first blockchain-based decentralized mCart marketplace by the FX Group.

Read More

Judge Gives AT&T-Time Warner Deal Green Light

By: Paula Bernier    6/12/2018

Federal judge Richard Leon gave the $85 billion deal the green light today - and without any requirements to sell off any parts of the company. He als…

Read More

A New Foundation for Evolving Blockchain As a Fundamental Network Technology

By: Arti Loftus    6/12/2018

There are now thousands of blockchains, and unless you are a cryptophile, you won't recognize most of them.

Read More