The world is heading toward ‘driverless’ cars and Google is spearheading their own project, as well as many automobile companies on their own. The computer chips and cockpit visualizations needed for these ‘auto-piloted’ cars are being developed by competing chip manufacturers and NVIDIA wants you to know that they are on the forefront of that technology. At CES 2015, they revealed two car computers that they will be offering in the second half of 2015 – the NVIDIA DRIVE PX for developing autopilot capabilities and NVIDIA DRIVE CX, for creating the most advanced digital cockpit systems. Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO and co-founder, NVIDIA said:
“Mobile supercomputing will be central to tomorrow’s car. With vast arrays of cameras and displays, cars of the future will see and increasingly understand their surroundings. Whether finding their way back to you from a parking spot or using situational awareness to keep out of harm’s way, future cars will do many amazing, seemingly intelligent things. Advances in computer vision, deep learning and graphics have finally put this dream within reach. NVIDIA DRIVE will accelerate the intelligent car revolution by putting the visual computing capabilities of supercomputers at the service of each driver.”
The DRIVE PX uses the new NVIDIA Tegra X1 mobile super chip, which is built on NVIDIA’s latest Maxwell GPU architecture. It has more horsepower than the world’s fastest supercomputer of 15 years ago. DRIVE PX, features two Tegra X1 super chips and has inputs for up to 12 high-resolution cameras, as well as the ability to process up to 1.3 gigapixels per second. Features, such as Auto-Valet, can be enabled, allowing the car to actually find an empty parking space in a crowded garage, park the car, and then have it return to pick you up, once summoned via the driver’s smartphone. It can also discern different type vehicles that it may encounter and act accordingly – ambulance, police vehicle, fire truck, delivery van and normal vehicles.
The NVIDIA DRIVE CX cockpit computer is their complete solution, offering both the “hardware and software to enable advanced graphics and computer vision for navigation, infotainment, digital instrument clusters and driver monitoring.” One of its features, Surround-Vision, can provide an undistorted top-down, 360-degree view of the car in real time – eliminating any future ‘blind spots’ or even the need for mirrors of any sort. The DRIVE CX is available with either Tegra X1 or Tegra K1 processors.