Electronics and Semiconductors

Video: Pony.ai sends autonomous driving controller samples to customers

23 June 2022

Pony.ai has started sending samples of its autonomous driving controller (ADC) technology to customers that plan to mass produce the technology for future autonomous vehicles.

The controller, which is powered by Nvidia’s Drive Orin system-on-chip and the Drive Hyperion compute architecture, will be offered in a single or dual Drive Orin configurations for 254 and 508 trillion operations per second (TOPS), respectively.

Pony.ai has been conducting road tests with the ADC to optimize the software to run at low latency and with real-time performance. The Nvidia Drive Orin will be used in Pony.ai’s autonomous fleet as the centralized compute and artificial intelligence engine.

Drive Orin is designed to handle large numbers of applications and deep neural networks simultaneously while ensuring safety.

The ADC — along with Pony.ai’s autonomous driving software and hardware — allows vehicles to maneuver on city streets, highways and expressways including following traffic and merging during congestion. Other autonomous features of the ADC include:

  • Automatic lane changing
  • U-turns
  • Identify traffic signals
  • Unprotected intersections
  • Nudge around construction zones and accidents
  • Identify and interact with vulnerable road users
  • Handle on- and off-ramp merges
  • Automatically pass electronic toll collection gates

Pony.ai developed the self-driving computing unit back in January and claims it is one of the first vendors in the autonomous vehicle race to create a platform featuring multiple configurations with one or more Drive Orin SoCs and automotive-grade Nvidia architecture. The platform will allow carmakers to use it for self-driving trucks, robotaxis and consumer vehicles.

The company just this year received a taxi license for autonomous vehicles in China that will allow it to operate 100 robotaxis as traditional taxis in Nansha, Guangzhou, China, and charge fares for the rides.

It also received a permit, along with Baidu, to test driverless robotaxis in Beijing, China — the only two companies allowed to do this. This would be vehicles that do not have a safety driver in tow. Both companies are also the only companies allowed to charge fares for autonomous rides in the city.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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