NVIDIA’s current CEO believes the recent Uber incident will result in more self-driving investments. The recent crash involving one of Uber’s test vehicles has so far led to the ridesharing company halting all testing in the US, while NVIDIA itself has chosen to pause its testing in North America for the time being.
Speaking at NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, Huang stated that he believes that the “amount of investment into the seriousness of [autonomous vehicles] is going to go up,” although there is likely to be a slight pause in the industry. After all, companies such as NVIDIA will want to learn as much as possible while also implementing any modifications or improvements to the vehicles that are deemed necessary before restarting any tests. In the long run, however, the incident in Tempe, Arizona is expected to put into perspective the level of technology required in future self-driving vehicles, with Huang stating that anybody who previously “thought that they could get by without supercomputers and simulators and just vast amounts of data collection” will be forced back to drawing board, thus spurring a new round of investments to ensure safety standards are as high as possible .
Despite the recent incident, NVIDIA’s CEO remains optimistic about autonomous vehicles and expects the majority of modern cars to boast a certain level of autonomy within just a few years. In fact, the company has just announced a new test driving platform called Drive Constellation. The product utilizes VR technology to allow companies to test their self-driving software without putting them on public roads, and will hopefully help with the training of artificial intelligence systems. It should also allow companies to create situations that are hard to recreate on normal roads, thus improving the software even further. NVIDIA has so far partnered with nearly 400 companies that are developing self-driving technology, among which are Volkswagen, Tesla, and even Uber itself, with the goal of eventually providing a wide variety of customers with all the component necessary to build a completely autonomous vehicle.