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CES 2017: Nvidia BB8 driverless car and Audi partnership

The company is now road testing an autonomous car on public roads with advanced intelligence and algorithms

Nvidia BB8.
Nvidia BB8.

At CES 2017, Nvidia was showing off its prowess in many ecosystems at the same time—quite diverse too, from autonomous cars to Android-based consoles.

The company continued its focus on automotive technology. The company showed off a Lincoln car, now called BB8, outfitted with the DRIVE PX 2 AI self-driving computer with the DriveWorks software. Nvidia says that this system is running a deep neural network called PilotNet, which was developed over the past 18 months, to give the car more self-awareness and prowess to drive in complex and dynamic environment. In a detailed demonstration of the BB8’s skills, the car drove itself around a winding course carved out from truckloads of dirt, a backyard-size patch of artificial lawn and various landscaping material, simulating a variety of road surfaces and obstacles. Parts of the course had lane markings, while some parts did not, to replicate the road conditions we encounter every day. Nvidia says there was also a mobile road block with flashing arrows, and BB8 could safely identify the potential threat and took a detour.

Audi Q7

Nvidia also announced that it is partnership with German carmaker Audi, who are themselves showing off the Q7 piloted driving concept, which uses Nvidia’s DRIVE PX 2, DriveWorks software, deep neural networks and PilotNet.

Incidentally, Nvidia’s autonomous driving technology also drives the Roborace autonomous racing championship.

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