Silicon Valley chipmaker NVIDIA used its annual GPU Technology Conference to announce a partnership with Toyota that will see the automaker use NVIDIA’s sophisticated Drive PX AI (artificial intelligence) car computer in its future self-driving vehicles. The Drive PX system is a compact, lightweight unit capable of delivering 30 trillion “deep learning” calculations per second, according to Jensen Huang, chief executive officer and founder of NVIDIA. He said it is an ideal brain for next-gen transport modules thanks to its ability to read, assess and appropriately respond to a near-infinite number of real-world driving situations. Huang added: "The development of a self-driving car is one of the greatest technical challenges that's ever been tackled.”

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"Toyota has worked on autonomous driving technologies for over 20 years with the aim of reducing traffic fatalities to zero as an ultimate goal, achieving smoother traffic, and providing mobility for all," said Ken Koibuchi, executive general manager at Toyota at the event. "Through this collaboration, we intend to accelerate the development of autonomous driving systems that are even more safe and capable."

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NVIDIA currently supplies autonomous-driving technology to Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla and Volvo. The firm says the multifaceted Drive PX platform is capable of using its AI to integrate data from cameras, lidar, conventional radar and other sensors into a 360-degree environment surrounding the vehicle. It then precisely positions the car on an HD map and monitors the situation in real time to have it anticipate and react to any potential hazards. The Drive PX platform is also able to receive over-the-air software updates that further enhance its capabilities over time.

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