With a small-sized device containing technology that can analyse the smallest details, NVIDIA and HERE are working together on key innovations in advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous cars.
The new DRIVE PX 2 platform from NVIDIA was introduced this week at CES 2016. It is based on next-generation NVIDIA processors, enabling smarter, more sophisticated ADAS and paving the way for the autonomous car. Dubbed “an automotive supercomputing platform,” it processes 24 trillion deep learning operations a second.
NVIDIA’s platform addresses an autonomous car’s need to know exactly where it is, in context of what’s around it, while continuing to operate safely and stay on the optimal path. With HERE HD maps, the system is able to do just that.
According to the company’s blog, “HERE’s ultra-precise maps — so-called HD maps, which provide details down to 20 centimeters, or a bit more than half a foot — are critical to helping cars safely navigate the real world.”
The capabilities are being demoed at the show and we spoke with HERE’s product manager Juan V. Jativa-Villoldo who described use cases for how the technology works. He said that NVIDIA is intent on creating a “one-stop shop” for the makers of autonomous vehicles who need real time computer vision and sensor fusion algorithms, as well as strategies for those vehicles to maneuver themselves from one place to another.
Autonomous cars have multiple sensors, cameras, LIDAR, GPS and maps. DRIVE PX 2 is essentially a supercomputer the size of a lunchbox- powering a set of algorithms that fuse all the sensors together. HD Maps from HERE have now been added as another sensor.
“NVIDIA takes our HD map model and gets the car in the right position — both lateral and longitudinal. This is very important in autonomous driving, where positioning becomes critical in order to safely maneuver the vehicle particularly at intersections where every centimeter counts,” says Juan.
HD maps also enable path planning which considers the position and the context of what’s around the car — vehicles, pedestrians, lanes, bridges, etc. “Path planning defines the possible paths for the car and changes over the journey in real time — this only possible made through HD maps which contain road information that goes beyond the range achieved by sensors like camera or lidar” according to Juan.
NVIDIA CEO and co-founder Jen-Hsun Huang told journalists at the company’s press conference: “We need to distill and refine the localization of where the vehicle is. The HERE HD maps help us draw these lanes perfectly. Every vehicle that’s coming past us is noticed by the Lidar or by the cameras. Refined and placed properly in their lanes."