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Nvidia Becomes the First to Unveil a Level 5 Computer

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【Summary】Nvidia’s new supercomputer will lead the way forward for vehicles that won’t have steering wheels or pedals, as the company is looking forward to Level 5 autonomy.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Oct 19, 2017 9:30 AM PT
Nvidia Becomes the First to Unveil a Level 5 Computer

Every single automaker and technology company is working towards releasing Level 5 machines in the near future. But, as the majority of Level 2 vehicles on the road portray, automakers and tech companies just don't have the necessary hardware or software to completely cut humans out of the equation just yet. The majority of companies, including BMW, believe that Level 5 autonomous cars will be released onto the road by roughly 2020, as the German automaker eyes a date of 2021 for its unveiling of fully self-driving tech

That, though, is still three or four eyes away. But Nvidia doesn't have any plans of waiting that long, as it recently unveiled a new supercomputer that can bestow Level 5 autonomous capabilities onto a vehicle. 

Nvidia Improves On Its Highly-Advanced Computer

Last January, Nvidia unveiled the Drive PX 2, a liquid-cooled computer that could handle 24 trillion operations a second, which it began testing at the end of 2016. The computer, as Inside EVs reported last year, is what allowed Tesla to create Level 2 Model S sedans and Model X SUVs. The high-tech platform utilized a unique form of deep learning, which is referred to as convolutional neural network (CNN). Through CNN, Nvidia's engineers fed time-stamped videos that "taught" the system how to operate an automobile in a similar fashion to a human. 

The platform was ahead of its time and incredibly advanced. But, not even two years later, Nvidia has released a new AI computer that's capable of Level 5 autonomy – Nvidia Drive PX Pegasus. According to the SAE, Level 5 autonomy means that a vehicle doesn't need any assistance from a human driver, as it can tackle any driving responsibilities that a human can. 

Smarter, Smaller, And More Powerful Than Before

The new system is capable of delivering 320 trillion operations per second, which is 10 times more than what its predecessor could muster. While the computer's capability is incredibly impressive, it's size is also noteworthy. While the majority of companies testing fully-autonomous vehicles have trunks that are crammed with the necessary hardware and software components, Pegasus is as small as a license plate.

"Today, their trunks resemble small data centers, loaded with racks of computers with server-class Nvidia GPUs running deep learning, computer vision and parallel computing algorithms," said Nvidia. "Their size, power demands and cost make them impractical for production vehicles." 

Autonomous Taxis Come First

As Nvidia states, Pegasus will be used to create the first set of autonomous taxis, which 25 of approximately 225 of the company's partners are working on. "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." 

Nvidia's new Pegasus computer is lightyears ahead of what the competition is working on, making it the new benchmark. The system, though, won't be available until the second half of 2018 and will surely cost a pretty penny, as Level 5 autonomy isn't expected to be cheap. 

via: Inside EVs

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