NVIDIA unveils world's first AI computer designed to drive fully autonomous robotaxis



NVIDIA has unveiled the world's first artificial intelligence computer, codenamed Pegasus, which is designed to drive fully autonomous robotaxis that can transport passengers to their destinations, and provide mobility to everyone.

Designed for ASIL D certification—the industry's highest safety level—Pegasus extends the NVIDIA DRIVE PX AI computing platform to handle Level 5 driverless vehicles.

NVIDIA says that the NVIDIA DRIVE PX Pegasus will “help make possible a new class of vehicles that can operate without a driver -- fully autonomous vehicles without steering wheels, pedals or mirrors, and interiors that feel like a living room or office.”

“Driverless cars will enable new ride- and car-sharing services. New types of cars will be invented, resembling offices, living rooms or hotel rooms on wheels,” says Jensen Huang, NVIDIA founder and CEO.

“Travelers will simply order up the type of vehicle they want based on their destination and activities planned along the way. The future of society will be reshaped.”

Powered by four high-performance AI processors, NVIDIA DRIVE PX Pegasus combines “two of NVIDIA's newest Xavier system-on-a-chip processors -- featuring an embedded GPU based on the NVIDIA Volta architecture -- with two next-generation discrete GPUs with hardware created for accelerating deep learning and computer vision algorithms.”

Pegasus is equipped with automotive inputs/outputs, including “CAN (controller area network), Flexray, 16 dedicated high-speed sensor inputs for camera, radar, lidar and ultrasonics, plus multiple 10Gbit Ethernet connectors.” It has a combined memory bandwidth that surpasses one terabyte per second.

Ultimately, the system will provide “enormous computational capability for fully autonomous vehicles in a computer the size of a license plate,” which significantly lowers energy consumption and cost in the process.

NVIDIA AI is being used by a plethora of carmakers, transportation as a service companies, and startups that are developing Level 5 vehicles. Representatives from those entities are very excited about the NVIDIA DRIVE PX Pegasus.

“We plan to put NVIDIA DRIVE PX Pegasus into production in our autonomous vehicles,” says Sertac Karaman, president and co-founder of Optimus Ride, which is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) spinoff company developing self‑driving technologies.

Karl Iagnemma, CEO and co-founder of NuTonomy, adds, “NuTonomy is building for Level 5 and Pegasus is the kind of platform that will be required to support these types of systems.”

NuTonomy is another MIT spin-off technology startup company developing software to build self-driving cars.