SAN JOSE: Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development and NVIDIA announced on Monday a new collaboration to develop, train and validate self-driving vehicles.
The partnership builds on an ongoing relationship with Toyota to use the NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Xavier AV computer and is based on close development between teams from NVIDIA, TRI-AD in Japan and Toyota Research Institute (TRI) in the United States. The broad partnership includes advancements in AI computing infrastructure using NVIDIA GPUs; simulation using the NVIDIA DRIVE Constellation platform; and in-car AV computers based on DRIVE AGX Xavier or DRIVE AGX Pegasus.
The agreement includes the development of an architecture that can be scaled across many vehicle models and types, accelerating the development and production timeline, and simulating the equivalent of billions of miles of driving in challenging scenarios.
“Our vision is to enable self-driving vehicles with the ultimate goal of reducing fatalities to zero, enabling smoother transportation, and providing mobility for all,” said Dr James Kuffner, CEO of TRI-AD. “Our technology collaboration with NVIDIA is important to realising this vision. We believe large-scale simulation tools for software validation and testing are critical for automated driving systems.”
NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang added, “Self-driving vehicles for everyday use and commercial applications in countless industries will soon be commonplace. Everything that moves will be autonomous. Producing all these vehicles at scale will require a connected collaboration for all elements of the system. Our relationship with TRI-AD and TRI is a model for that collaboration.”
AI, and specifically deep learning, has become a vital tool for the production of next-generation automated vehicles, particularly because of the need to recognise and handle the nearly infinite number of scenarios encountered on the road.
Simulation has proven to be a valuable tool for testing and validating AV hardware and software before it is put on the road. As part of the collaboration, TRI-AD and TRI are using the NVIDIA DRIVE Constellation platform for components of their simulation workflow.
DRIVE Constellation is a data centre solution, comprising two side-by-side servers. The first server — Constellation Simulator — uses NVIDIA GPUs running DRIVE Sim software to generate the sensor output from a virtual car driving in a realistic virtual world. The second server — Constellation Vehicle — contains the DRIVE AGX car computer, which processes the simulated sensor data. The driving decisions from Constellation Vehicle are fed back into Constellation Simulator, aiming to realise accurate testing.