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Nvidia Suspends Self-Driving Vehicle Testing Due To Uber Pedestrian Fatality

The computer chip manufacturer and self-driving vehicle systems developer Nvidia Corp has temporarily suspended its autonomous vehicle testing as a result of the recent pedestrian fatality caused by an Uber test vehicle in Tempe, Arizona.

Image credit: Volvo

The computer chip manufacturer and self-driving vehicle systems developer Nvidia Corp has temporarily suspended its autonomous vehicle testing as a result of the recent pedestrian fatality caused by an Uber test vehicle in Tempe, Arizona.

The March 18 pedestrian fatality has drawn a variety of responses from different self-driving vehicle developers across the world, from program suspensions (Toyota) to claims that the Uber system has no relation or comparison with their products and conservative testing protocols so it doesn’t matter (Waymo/Google; Nissan), to apparent indifference (Baidu).

A spokesperson for Nvidia stated: “We are temporarily suspending the testing of our self-driving cars on public roads to learn from the Uber incident. … Our global fleet of manually driven data collection vehicles continue to operate.”

Nvidia has been testing in California and New Jersey.

Reuters provides more: “Nvidia leads the autonomous industry with its artificial intelligence platform and has partnered with major global automakers such as Volkswagen AG, Tesla Inc, and Audi AG.” (Note: It’s only arguable that Nvidia leads the industry, by no means a certainty.)

Going on: “Uber has been using Nvidia’s computing technology since its first test fleet of Volvo SC90 SUVS were deployed in 2016. Around 320 firms involved in self-driving cars — from software developers, automakers and their suppliers, sensor and mapping companies — use Nvidia Drive platform, according to the company’s website.”

Given that reality, and as stated in the note just above, I think that it’s very likely that Nvidia’s tech isn’t as far along as that of Waymo/Google, GM/Cruise, or others. Alternately, one could argue that it’s possible that no firms have tech anywhere near market-readiness. They could, or they could not, but from the looks of it, no one knows at this point.

 
 
 
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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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