The yearly Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has once again kicked off, and the first cool thing has already been announced.
Hardware manufacturer NVIDIA has officially announced a supercomputer that is supposed to make autonomous driving, the act of travelling in a vehicle without human intervention, safer than it was before. This new tech allows cars to sense the world around them, allowing them to plot out the safest route possible while avoiding other vehicles and objects. NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang revealed the new computer to a crowd of around 400 automakers, the press and industry analysts.
The computer, titled the DRIVE PX 2, is able to handle 24 trillion deep learning operations per second is the size of a normal lunchbox, which is a huge difference in size to the usual trunk-sized computers used in self-driving cars today. The device has 8 teraflops of processing power, which means that the PX 2 performs 10 times better than the PX 1, NVIDIA's first attempt at a self-driving AI. The PX2 sensors are also capable of getting a 360 degree field of view, making rear-view mirrors "history", according to Jen-Hsun.
Carmaker Volvo will be the first company to use the PX 2 in their cars, and their first car using this technology will be available for lease in 2017. Volvo and NVIDIA seem positive that this new technology will go a long way to reduce the amount of yearly fatalities that involve motor vehicles, while also maximizing the productivity of the vehicle owners by allowing people to work while the car drives them to where they need to go.
Jen-Hsun also showed off a demo of the technology at work, showing what a human would see versus what the car would see, with the car being able to identify and respond to the ever-changing traffic situation quicker than a human ever could.
Carmaker Ford is also planning on expanding their fleet of self-driving cars from 20 to 30 so they can test their own autonomous driving technology on a wider scale. It seems like major carmakers are more than willing to incorporate this deliciously futuristic tech for a safer and more efficient commute.