The future of self-driving cars: New tech advances possibilities

Over the past few weeks, Nvidia has been holding a series of regional GPU Technology Conferences (GTC) in different parts of the globe. In September, Nvidia showed off its new Tensor3 GPU made for artificial intelligence (AI) inferencing in China. This week, the company took its show to Munich to host GTC Europe where it made a couple of announcements in the advancements of self-driving vehicles.

The quest for the fully autonomous car has been somewhat of a “holy grail” and one of the best examples of what’s possible when discussing advanced technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Test fleet of autonomous delivery vehicles

Nvidia CEO Jensen Juang made two self-driving announcements during his keynote. The first one was made with Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL), the world’s biggest mail and logistics company, and ZF, an automotive provider. The three companies have teamed up to deploy a test fleet of autonomous delivery vehicles (pictured above), starting next calendar year. 

DPDHL will deploy electric light trucks powered by the ZF ProAI self-driving system, which is powered by the Nvidia DRIVE PX palm-size supercomputer but also includes sensors, cameras, LIDAR and radar that feed the data into the system. The AI-based system will automate the process of transporting and delivering packages from the central point to the final destination, which is the most expensive aspect of courier services. The autonomous vehicles will be able to use the AI to comprehend the environment it is in, then plan a safe path and park itself. It ensures safe, accurate deliveries at a significantly lower cost than using people.

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