Nvidia shows Tegra X1-based cockpit, driver-assist computers for cars

After introducing the Tegra X1 this evening, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang made it clear that the new chip isn't aimed at phones. Rather, Nvidia envisions the Tegra X1 as a means of meeting the computational demands of next-generation cars. To that end, Huang announced two automotive reference systems based on the Tegra X1: the Drive CX digital cockpit computer and the Drive PX driver-assist car computer.

The Drive CX is designed to power dashboard displays and infotainment systems. It can process up to 16.6 megapixels—the equivalent of two 4K screens—and it comes with Nvidia's Drive Studio software, which runs on "any OS" and uses the Tegra X1 silicon to display things like physically rendered gauges that emulate dashboard materials. Drive Studio also includes staple functionality like voice commands and GPS navigation.

The Drive PX is a little more ambitious. With dual Tegra X1 chips, 12 camera inputs, and 1.3 gigapixels/sec of image processing power, this system is meant to power driver-assist functionality using an innovative pattern-recognition scheme based on neural networks. Nvidia claims the scheme, called deep neural network computer vision, surpasses the accuracy of traditional feature detectors—and can even recognize images "better than most humans." In all, Nvidia says the Drive PX can recognize 75 objects simultaneously, "enabling it to understand the environment around the car."

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