New Xavier, Mapping & Alpha from NVIDIA for self-driving in 2017

xavier-gtc-europe-latestNVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang unveiled Xavier,  AI supercomputer, designed for use in self-driving cars at the GPU Technology Conference Europe. The company also revealed that NVIDIA is partnering with TomTom. Details of Alpha 1 of DriveWorks self-driving software platform were shown.

Partnership with TomTom

The NVIDIA DriveWorks software development kit now integrates support for TomTom’s HD mapping environment. The open solution is available for all automakers and tier 1 suppliers developing autonomous vehicles.

The collaboration will include porting and running TomTom’s RoadDNA localization and mapping software on DRIVE PX 2.
The collaboration combines TomTom’s extensive HD map coverage, which already spans more than 120,000 km of highways and freeways, with the NVIDIA DRIVE™ PX 2 computing platform. Together, the solution accelerates support for real-time in-vehicle localization and mapping for driving on the highway.

Alpha 1 of DriveWorks

NVIDIA launched the Alpha 1 release of DriveWorks software, which includes deep neural networks that enable self-driving car developers to achieve new levels of safety and reliability.

The Alpha 1 release of  DriveWorks software, incorporates a number of new modules, including support for free space detection — which helps self-driving cars determine where it’s safe for cars to drive; distance detection; lane detection; and 3D bounding boxes, which determine the size and shape of objects around the car.

The new neural network, PilotNet, will enable the handling of more challenging situations, such as construction sites, night driving and foul weather. Another neural network, OpenRoadNet, will enable free space computation and enable the creation of the occupancy grid to help cars determine where they can safely drive.

Meet Xavier

Xavier is a complete system-on-chip (SoC), integrating a new GPU architecture called Volta, a custom 8 core CPU architecture, and a new computer vision accelerator. The processor will deliver 20 TOPS (trillion operations per second) of performance, while consuming only 20 watts of power. As the brain of a self-driving car, Xavier is designed to be compliant with critical automotive standards, such as the ISO 26262 functional safety specification.

Backed with 7 billion transistors, and manufactured using cutting-edge 16nm FinFET process technology, a single Xavier AI processor will be able to replace today’s DRIVE PX 2 configured with dual mobile SoCs and dual discrete GPUs — at a fraction of the power consumption.

Because autonomous driving is an incredibly computing-intense process, the need for an efficient AI processor is paramount. Xavier will bring self-driving car technology to automakers, tier 1 suppliers, startups and R&D organizations that are building autonomous vehicles, whether cars, trucks, shuttles or taxis.

Xavier samples will be available the fourth quarter of 2017 to automakers, tier 1 suppliers, startups and research institutions who are developing self-driving cars.