GRAPHICS FIRM Nvidia has been given the nod to start testing its self-driving cars on public roads in California.
Nvidia was granted a permit by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) last week, giving the firm the green light to start testing self-driving vehicle technology on the state's public roads.
The firm joins a long list of firms that are also testing self-driving vehicles in California, including Google, Tesla Motors, Ford and Drive.ai.
The permit notes that, if Nvidia's driverless vehicles are involved in an accident, the firm must provide the DMV with a Report of Traffic Accident Involving an Autonomous Vehicle within 10 business days of the incident. It also requires Nvidia to submit an annual report "summarising the disengagements of the technology during testing."
Since being granted the permit, The Verge reports that Nvidia has wasted no time in getting its vehicles on the road, with one of the website's readers having spotted a vehicle (above) driving around in the Bay Area.
While Nvidia is best known as a graphics-focused firm, the company set out its intentions to enter the autonomous vehicle race at last year's CES with the unveiling of Drive PX 2, a supercomputer for self-driving cars that the firm claims is as powerful as 150 MacBook Pros.
The PX 2 sports 12 CPU cores and has eight teraflops of processing power, similar to around six Titan X video cards, and comes with built-in water-cooling to ensure it doesn't overheat. Nvidia claims that the Drive PX 2 can achieve 24 trillion operations a second, achieving over 10 times more computational horsepower than the Drive PX predecessor.
At the time, Nvidia CEO Jen Hsun-Huang said: "Drivers deal with an infinitely complex world. Modern artificial intelligence and GPU breakthroughs enable us to finally tackle the daunting challenges of self-driving cars.
"Nvidia's GPU is central to advances in deep learning and supercomputing. We are leveraging these to create the brain of future autonomous vehicles that will be continuously alert and eventually achieve superhuman levels of situational awareness.
"Autonomous cars will bring increased safety, new convenient mobility services and even beautiful urban designs, providing a powerful force for a better future." µ
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