NVIDIA Launches DRIVE Constellation
While autonomous vehicles certainly need to be tested out in the real world, there is something to be said for running simulations of driving, given that simulations can not only run longer than any real-world fleet could (let’s face it: one the simulations starts running, there is no need to take breaks for fuel or snacks), and, what’s more, they can run faster, under more random conditions than is possible than if real cars are involved.
To that end, NVIDIA has announced that its DRIVE Constellation simulation platform is now available for developers of autonomous systems.
It consists of two side-by-side servers, one that runs the company’s DRIVE Sim software to generate sensor output from the virtual car in the virtual world, while the other has the DRIVE AGX Pegasus AI car computer, which processes the simulated sensor data.
In other words, this system does what cars do in the real world, except this isn’t the real world.
Essentially, the Constellation system is able to rack up not only miles, but is able to learn the appropriate actions based on conditions that are encountered.
The system is an open platform, which means that partners can integrate their models—vehicles, sensors, traffic scenarios, environment—into the system.
Two of these companies are Cognata and IPG Automotive. The former creates traffic models, including multiple vehicles as well as other road users. The latter creates virtual vehicle prototypes, all the way down to the vehicle subsystems so that responses of the various elements (e.g., steering, suspension) can be determined.
The first customer of NVIDIA DRIVE Constellation? The Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD). Said Dr. James Kuffner, CEO of TRI-AD, “We believe large-scale simulation tools for software validation and testing are critical for automated driving systems.”
Can get much better validation than TRI-AD being the first customer.
While at the Tokyo Motor Show this week various vehicle manufacturers were showing off all manner of cars and crossovers and transportation devices that typically had to do with something autonomous, connected and/or electrified (ACE, as CAR’s Brett Smith categorizes this burgeoning field), the guys from Chevy were in El Segundo, California, showing off a different take on what can best be described as “toys for boys”—boys who do or don’t have driver’s licenses.
Continental, an automotive supplier that has a deep engineering bench, is making a huge organizational change, one that Dr. Elmar Degenhart, chairman of the executive board, explains is necessary because, as he puts it, “The industry is changing at a high pace, so we have to change, too.”
Hyundai Motor Co. is looking for a domestic partner to mass-produce the fold-up Ioniq electric scooter it unveiled at last year’s CES show in Las Vegas, a source tells The Korea Herald.