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Self-driving Cars hit the Road

Posted by Nadeesha Thewarapperuma

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Aug 30, 2016 10:00:00 AM


Here's what's happening in Singapore

     It's almost there. There's still a driver in the front, but for all intents and purposes, he's only there to make sure the self-driving platform performs efficiently.

     US-based start-up, nuTonomy, is currently operating a fleet of taxis in Singapore. The cars are going around a very remote part of the city, an area of around 2.6 mi, picking up and dropping off passengers. The service is free but has only been extended to a very select group of invitees. If the program is successful, nuTonomy plans on extending it to a few more thousand people.

     Singapore is an ideal testing place for self-driving cars. Traffic laws are strictly obeyed, taxis are cheap and always in high demand. These three criteria make Singapore one of the best places for testing out a driverless fleet of cars.

     nuTonomy states that their first priority is ensuring the passengers' safety. There is an extensive health-monitoring system in place, monitoring the sensors, the actions of the car, and the interior cabin.

And in Pittsburgh

     Later this month, Uber plans on unveiling several self-driving sedans in Pittsburgh. Uber is ahead of several major players in the industry, including Tesla, BMW, and Google. Last Thursday, Uber acquired Otto, the company founded by ex-Google employees, Anthony Levandowski, Lior Ron, Claire Delaunay and which specializes in delivering LiDAR software and hardware to logistic companies.


     There are also talks of allowing self-driving vehicles to operate in Michigan. Legislation is already under draft and authorities in the state believe it's an ideal opportunity to further economic growth in Michigan. Self-driving cars are just another item on the cool fpga applications list.


     The platform for a self-driving vehicle consists of several high-end computing chips. At the moment, the main chip is either an FPGA or a GPU.

     Nvidia and Tesla have partnered up to develop Tesla's self-driving platform, the Drive PX2. The Drive PX2 will be powered using a GPU, CPU, and two bleeding-edge CPUs. Meanwhile, companies like Intel plan on using an FPGA to power their version of a driverless platform. Their recent purchase of Altera FPGA have solidified their intent to use an FPGA as the main component in their hardware. While the GPU has better computing and processing abilities, the FPGA offers several key advantages. One is that it is reprogrammable and two is that most high-end FPGA can process input data within seconds.

     EarthTron is located in Portsmouth, NH. We specialize in all forms of FPGA, particularly Altera and Xilinx FPGA. If you are looking for cost-savings for a RFQ or have excess on hand, please contact us for a free appraisal.

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Here's our last blog on driverless cars.

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Topics: FPGA

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