Nvidia's Drive PX Pegasus is its newest self-driving supercomputer

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Now Nvidia unveils a new supercomputer that it believes will enable level 5 autonomous driving.

They can handle 320 trillion operations per second, representing roughly a 13-fold increase over the calculating power of the current PX 2 class.

Silicon Valley graphics chipmaker NVIDIA divulged the premier computer chips for spreading completely independent vehicles and it had more than 25 customers operating to construct a novel class of driverless cars, robotaxis and long-haul trucks.

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The company is also allowing some designers and developers access to its Holodeck virtual reality development platform, which lets designers test ideas in a realistic 3-D world. And countless lives will be saved by vehicles that are never tired, impaired or distracted - increasing road safety, reducing congestion and freeing up valuable land now used for parking lots. Nvidia points out that vehicles today using Nvidia tech to field on demand autonomous taxis include basically entire data centres in the trunk, and Drive PX Pegasus is created to help put them on track to bring this down to something more manageable for actual production deployment. NVIDIA wants to help with that, introducing its third-generation Drive PX platform at GTC Europe 2017 today.

"Creating a fully self-driving auto is one of society's most important endeavors - and one of the most challenging to deliver", says Jensen Huang, Nvidia founder and CEO. New types of cars will be invented, resembling offices, living rooms or hotel rooms on wheels. "The future of society will be reshaped", he said.

The Pegasus line will be available by the middle of 2018 for automakers to begin developing vehicles and testing software algorithms needed to control future driverless cars, NVIDIA executives told a developers' conference in Munich on Oct 10.

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The fleet will combine sensors, cameras, radar and lidar, and the ZF ProAI self-driving system, which is based on Drive PX. One potential application is delivery vehicles. This can enable the vehicle to use AI to understand its environment, plan a safe path forward, proceed along a selected route and park itself - ensuring deliveries can be made with greater accuracy and safety, and at lower cost. They can also witness how GPU technologies are creating breakthroughs in important fields such as deep learning.

Nvidia is now working with a number of leading automotive manufacturers, with its hardware already being used by the likes of Tesla and Audi.

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