Last week, the autonomous racing series that is Roborace unveiled what its cars will look like. But now we also know what will control them: Nvidia’s liquid-cooled Drive PX 2 computers, which crunch through 24 trillion AI operations every single second.
Nvidia first announced the car-specific computer at the start of the year. Said to be “the size of a lunchbox and with the computing capability of 150 MacBook Pros”, it’s powered by two Tegra processors and two discrete GPUs. It’s claimed it can gobble up data from 12 video cameras, along with lidar, radar and ultrasonic sensors, then processes the streams of information to make sense of the outside world.
Nvidia says that the Roborace cars will make use of radar, lidar, cameras, GPS and high-definition mapping when they hit the track. It also points out that the computers will allow each car to learn, getting better the more they race. In fact it will it process up to 2800 images per second using a neural network-based algorithm to do that.
It’s not clear, though, whether such learning will provide enough distinction to actually make the races fun to watch.