Shift Happens: Virtual Ride and DRIVE Gears Up GTC Attendees

AutoPilot Simulator revs up excitement for near automotive future.
by Danny Shapiro

The AI car of tomorrow opened its doors for a virtual spin this week at the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference.

The DRIVE AutoPilot simulator experience on the GTC show floor combines the latest NVIDIA DRIVE technologies — DRIVE AP2X, DRIVE Constellation and DRIVE Sim — to show how AI is transforming the way we move.

Built out of a Mercedes-Benz E300, the simulator includes the DRIVE AGX Pegasus supercomputer, DRIVE AV autonomous driving software and DRIVE IX intelligent cockpit platform. The vehicle is connected to DRIVE Constellation and a surround video screen in front of the car plays the environment in which the car is driving in simulation.

The DRIVE AutoPilot simulator features NVIDIA partner Mercedes-Benz’ E300.

Hitting Fresh Pavement

With the open, bit-accurate DRIVE Constellation simulation platform, the DRIVE AutoPilot simulator can run scenarios recreated from real sensor data or generate new traffic situations from synthetic data.

This allows developers to test known cases that vehicles on the road have experienced before, as well as unknown edge cases, like difficult weather or aggressive traffic. They can repeat all or just segments of the drive to validate concepts and ensure compliance to rules and checks.

For either simulated or re-simulated experiences, the autonomous driving hardware and software in the simulator behaves as if it is running in the real world. Vehicle occupants can test a wide range of driving controls, including braking and steering on highways and urban areas in the virtual world.

This type of accurate simulation gives the car valuable road experience and creates a comfortable human-machine interaction for drivers.

Innovation Inside and Out

In addition to automated driving, the DRIVE AutoPilot simulator showcased the latest in DRIVE IX-enabled driver monitoring and intelligent cockpit technologies.

Using deep neural networks tracking the driver, the vehicle can tell if they’re drowsy or distracted. It can also monitor whether a driver has their hands on the wheel or is using a phone. For convenience, the software also offers facial identification to unlock the vehicle and provide customized settings.

Additionally, the demo enables voice control. Occupants can set DRIVE Constellation parameters, request navigation, search for points of interest or adjust cabin settings with natural language commands.

With this intelligent AI copilot by their side, GTC attendees can travel miles and miles of virtual roads, without ever leaving the show floor.