Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang took the center stage at the GPU Technology Conference (GTC) held in Munich, Germany as the keynote speaker about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and autonomous vehicles. There, he unveiled Drive PX Pegasus – the most powerful computer designed to drive a fully autonomous car.

“Creating a fully self-driving car is one of [the] society's most important endeavors -- and one of the most challenging to deliver,” Huang said as posted on Market Wired. Drive PX Pegasus is said to be capable of delivering 320 trillion deep learning operations per second (TOPS) – that is more than 10x the performance of its predecessor, Drive PX 2.

50 times better

Imagine the computing demands of the most technologically advanced cars in the market today. Accordingly, the computing needs of driverless vehicles are at least 50 greater. Thus, there is a need for a very powerful computer like the Drive PX Pegasus.

Tech website WCCFTech.com reported that the Pegasus will be powered by two Xavier SoC and two next-generation Discrete GPUs (architecture still unknown). There are 16-core NVIDIA CPU (unknown architecture), two Volta iGPU and Next Generation dGPUs. This 320 TOPS Pegasus computer system will have a total of 500W of TDP.

With the power of Drive PX Pegasus, all systems are integrated into one. These are systems that control multiple cameras, LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), understand and react to radar and ultrasonic sensors, real-time monitoring and tracking, and other systems that will ensure the highest level of safety of passengers; not to mention, the engine of deep learning.

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Level 5 autonomous driving

Speaking of the level of safety, Drive PX Pegasus’ 320 TOPS enables Level 5 autonomous driving. This is the highest level when it comes to autonomous driving. As described by tech website Tech Republic, “This refers to a fully-autonomous system that expects the vehicle's performance to equal that of a human driver, in every driving scenario—including extreme environments like dirt roads that are unlikely to be navigated by driverless vehicles in the near future.”

This is the reason why Pegasus is the top choice by nearly all carmakers in developing their version of Level 5 vehicles. According to Xiaodi Hou, Chief Technology Officer of driverless truck solutions company, TuSimple, “The breakthrough AI performance and capabilities of the NVIDIA Drive PX Pegasus platform will ensure the reliability and safety of our autonomous trucking fleet.”

For Karl Iagnemma, CEO and co-founder of NuTonomy, a MIT spin-off self-driving car company, “NuTonomy is building for Level 5 and Pegasus is the kind of platform that will be required to support these types of systems.” Zoox CEO and co-founder Tim Kentley-Klay believe that “Drive PX Pegasus will get us to Level 5.”

Self-driving platform

According to NVIDIA website, Drive PX is an AI-based car computer platform designed for deep learning, sensor fusion, and surround vision in order to take over driving chores.

In plain and simple terms, there will be no more steering wheel, no more pedals, no more driving – just the passenger/s who will give the commands.

NVIDIA Drive PX was designed to capture the work of a human driver and more. No more fatigue, no more accidents caused by human error and/or limitations as Drive PX provides additional road safety. With its interconnectivity, it can also reduce traffic congestions and give arrival time approximates.