NVIDIA Announces 'Drive AutoPilot' Level-2 Automated Driving System at CES

NVIDIA Announces 'Drive AutoPilot' Level-2 Automated Driving System at CES

Author: FutureCar Staff    

LAS VEGAS — NVIDIA typically reserves some big announcements for major events like the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, and this year was no exception. The computer hardware giant unveiled its first commercial ready autonomous driving system it calls NVIDIA DRIVE AutoPilot.

AutoPilot will support level-2 autonomous driving and includes multiple breakthrough AI technologies that will enable supervised self-driving vehicles to go into production by next year.

NVIDIA DRIVE AutoPilot provides world-class autonomous driving perception. Automakers can use it to bring to market sophisticated automated driving features, as well as intelligent assistance and visualization capabilities inside the vehicle, which Nvidia says far surpasses anything that is available today.

"A full-featured, Level 2+ system requires significantly more computational horsepower and sophisticated software than what is on the road today," said Rob Csongor, vice president of Autonomous Machines at NVIDIA. "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."

Automated Highway Driving

DRIVE AutoPilot integrates for the first time high-performance NVIDIA's Xavier system-on-a-chip (SoC) processors, running software to process many deep neural networks (DNNs) for perception as well as complete surround camera sensor data from outside the vehicle and inside the cabin.

This combination enables full self-driving autopilot capabilities, including highway merge, lane change, lane splits and personal mapping. Inside the cabin, features include driver monitoring, to make sure the driver is always paying attention.

DRIVE AutoPilot is part of the open, flexible NVIDIA DRIVE platform, which is being used by hundreds of companies worldwide to build autonomous driving vehicles that increase safety and reduce driver fatigue and stress on long drives or in stop-and-go traffic. T

DRIVE AutoPilot addresses the limitations of existing Level 2 ADAS systems, which a recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study showed offer inconsistent vehicle detections and poor ability to stay within lanes on curvy or hilly roads, resulting in a high occurrence of system disengagements where the driver abruptly had to take control. These types of issues have plagued Tesla.

"Lane keeping and adaptive cruise control systems on the market today are simply not living up to the expectations of consumers," said Dominique Bonte, vice president of Automotive Research at ABI Research. "The high-performance AI solutions from NVIDIA will deliver more effective active safety and more reliable automated driving systems in the near future."

A core component of NVIDIA DRIVE AutoPilot is the NVIDIA's Xavier chip, which delivers 30 trillion operations per second of processing capability. Nvidia said that Xavier has been designed for redundancy and diversity, with six types of processors and 9 billion transistors that enable it to process enormous amounts of data in real-time to support autonomous driving.

Nvidia says that Xavier is the world's first automotive-grade processor for autonomous driving in production today.

AutoPilot uses surround sensors for full, 360-degree perception and features highly accurate localization and path-planning capabilities. These enable driver supervised self-driving on highways. The surround perception capabilities handle situations where lanes split or merge, and safely perform lane changes.

DRIVE AutoPilot also includes sophisticated AI software that understands where other vehicles are, reads lane markings, detects pedestrians and cyclists, distinguishes different types of lights and their colors and recognizes traffic signs.

DRIVE AutoPilot offers a new personal mapping feature called "My Route," which remembers where you have driven and can create a self-driving route even if no HD map is available.

Within the vehicle, DRIVE IX intelligent experience software enables occupant monitoring to detect distracted or drowsy drivers and provide alerts, or take corrective action if needed. It is also used to create intelligent user experiences, including the new ability for augmented reality. Displaying a visualization of the surrounding environment sensed by the vehicle.

Two of world's biggest automotive suppliers, Continental and ZF, have already announced Level 2+ self-driving systems that will be based on the new NVIDIA DRIVE, with production beginning in 2020.

Continental is developing a scalable and affordable automated driving architecture that uses radar, lidar, camera and Automated Driving Control Unit technology powered by NVIDIA DRIVE.

"Today's driving experience with advanced driver assistance systems will be brought to the next level, creating a seamless transition from assisted to automated driving and defining a new standard," said Karl Haupt, head of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems business unit at Continental.

"Driving will become an active journey, keeping the driver responsible but reducing the driving task to supervision and relaxation."

FutureCar Staff
FutureCar Staff
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