After Fatal Uber Incident, Nvidia Defers Autonomous Car Testing On Public Roads

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Nvidia is best known for providing technology for other companies in sectors ranging from bitcoin mining to self-driving cars, but it also has its own fleet of self-driving cars, used for research and development purposes.

"Safety is really the most important thing, as we were reminded just last week", Huang said, referring to the Uber incident. Ultimately [autonomous vehicles] will be far safer than human drivers, so this important work needs to continue. The promise is to move self-driving vehicle testing off the public roads and into data centers before the technology is proven out.

Nvidia Corp said on Tuesday it will suspend self-driving tests across the globe after Uber Technologies Inc fatality last week, according to a source at the GPU conference in San Jose, California.

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At the same time it's announcing the cessation of real-world testing, Nvidia also unveiled a new system for testing self-driving cars, one that takes place in a virtual rather than real-world environment.

The company has Uber as a customer as the ride hailing service uses the chipmaker's computing platform in its fleet of self-driving vehicles. The second server contains the NVIDIA DRIVE Pegasus AI auto computer that runs the entire software stack in an autonomous driving vehicle. "VRgineers' professional headsets powered by the new Quadro GV100 GPU means, for the first time, professionals in industries such as product design, architecture and engineering can conduct realistic simulations where high resolution and overall image quality are key", said Bob Pette, Vice President, Professional Visualization, NVIDIA.

The decision comes following the fatal Uber crash in Arizona, which may not have been caused by the self-driving technology, but still yielded some pause from other self-driving vehicle makers.

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The idea of self-driving cars is gaining a lot of traction these days, but the incident in Arizona may put the idea of autonomous cars on hold for a while. Earlier today, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey suspended Uber's ability to test and operate self-driving cars on public roads in the state.

It remains to be seen how effective Nvidia DRIVE Constellation is at putting self-driving cars through the paces and how that testing translates into the real world.

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