The automatic driving of automobiles has been a new trend in the development of the automobile industry. Major automobile factories and information industry manufacturers are actively investing in the development of automatic driving vehicles, and many automatic driving cars have been actually driving on the roads. This article will introduce you to the development overview of automatic driving technology and related solutions.

Safety is the Absolute Requirement of Autopilot System

Auto-driving automobiles appeared in many science fiction movies for a long time. With the rapid development of science and technology, automatic driving function is no longer a dream, but a reality in progress. We can imagine a fully automated transportation system, vehicles can sense various states on the road, communicate with each other, and can also communicate with traffic signals. As a result, the probability of a traffic accident will be minimized (it is impossible to achieve zero accidents, because there is also the factor of “pedestrians” that cannot communicate with the automation system).

From various statistical data, it can be found that about 1.25 million people worldwide die from traffic accidents every year, which is equivalent to 3,500 every day. This does not include the number of people who have suffered slight or serious injuries due to car accidents. Among the causes of traffic accidents, most of them are caused by human negligence, road conditions and environmental factors, because the proportion of mechanical failure causing traffic accidents is not high. It also means that if automatic driving technology is introduced into vehicles, the number of accidents can be effectively reduced. Although currently limited by legal norms, as well as the lack of maturity and trust of human beings in automatic driving, there are still many obstacles to the development of automatic driving technology. However, with the gradual maturity of automatic driving technology and more practical verification of road driving, it is believed that this will gradually change people’s confidence in automatic driving technology.

The principle of automatic drive is to use radar, optical radar, GPS and computer vision and other technology to sense the environmental conditions, then through the advanced control system, the sensory data is converted into appropriate navigation roads, as well as obstacles and related signs, control the movement and action of the vehicle along the road to automatically get the vehicle to the set destination.

The key factor for people to accept and trust the autopilot system is “safety”. The safety of the autopilot is not an option nor a feature, but always an absolute pursuit. NVIDIA, which is actively involved in the development of the automatic driving processor, has launched the world's first single chip automatic driving vehicle processor DRIVE Xavier recently. From the very beginning, NVIDIA has incorporated safety into the design of NVIDIA DRIVE computers for automatic driving vehicles. Including hardware and software stack, experts have adopted security technology in all aspects of the computing system. All R&D tools and methods used by NVIDIA should ensure that the developed software achieves expected performance, is secure, reliable and backup; and the strict process is determined to ensure that there is no safety dead angle.

NVIDIA has invited TÜV SÜD, the world’s leading automotive safety and reliability company, to evaluate the safety concept of the new NVIDIA Xavier system-on-chip (SoC). “Safety first” computer design is equivalent to the combination of component expertise, architecture, design, tools, methods and best practices. TÜV SÜD evaluated the safety, durability and quality of cars in accordance with national and international standards and confirms that the Xavier system-on-chip architecture is suitable for automatically driven vehicle applications, it shows that Xavier has reached the functional safety standard ISO 26262 of the automotive industry and also achieved the highest functional safety rating in the automotive industry: ASIL-D.

Xavier is the world’s first autopilot processor and the most sophisticated system-level chip so far, with over 9 billion transistors capable of handling massive amounts of data. Xavier’s GMSL (Gigabit Multimedia Serial Link) high-speed IO connects it to the largest array of lidar, radar and camera sensors so far. There are six processors in the system-level chip: ISP (Image Signal Processor), VPU (Video Processing Unit), PVA (Programmable Visual Accelerator), DLA (Deep Learning Accelerator), CUDA GPU and CPU. It can carry out nearly 40 trillion calculations per second, and the learning ability of Artificial Intelligence alone is as high as 30 trillion times. It can be applied to the most advanced production vehicles nowadays.

In order to assist auto development manufacturers to develop automatic driving systems, NVIDIA has also launched the NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier developer kit. With the help of NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier developer kit, it will be easy to create and deploy end to end AI applications for the autopilot system.

Supported by NVIDIA JetPack, DeepStream SDK, CUDA®, cuDNN and TensorRT software libraries, this kit provides all the tools you need to get started right away. And because it uses a new NVIDIA Xavier processor, its performance is more than 20 times higher than its predecessor product NVIDIA Jetson TX2, and its energy efficiency is 10 times higher.

Do you want to be absent from the application of the autopilot system? Please get to know NVIDIA’s autopilot vehicle processor DRIVE Xavier and Jetson AGX Xavier developer kit immediately, to accelerate the ideal world of auto driving together.

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