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Nvidia working on driver assistance technologies using a Tegra CPU and a Kepler class GPU

Nvidia has big plans beyond in-car entertainment systems. It has announced a new development platform called Jetson which is designed to allow manufacturers to add new driver assistance technologies into future cars.
March 25, 2013

Nvidia has been working with car makers for a while now and it announced earlier this year that Audi will use an auto-infotainment system featuring  NVIDIA’s Tegra CPU in selected vehicles this year.  But the company has bigger plans still. Nvidia has announced a new development platform called Jetson which is designed to allow manufacturers to add new driver assistance technologies into future cars.

The new Jetson development platform combines the power of a Tegra CPU with the high performance compute (HPC) functionality of a Kepler class CPU. The Kepler is the GPU core behind the Nvidia GeForce 600 series of video cards and is used by Nvidia in its fastest and most efficient HPC architecture. What is interesting is that Nvidia are saying that the Jetson can emulate the features and performance of the next-generation of Tegra devices and by putting the development platform together as a 1-DIN module, which can slide into a car stereo slot, Nvidia are giving OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers early access to future  Tegra designs!

With Jetson automakers will have access to an energy-efficient system on chip (SoC) plus the parallel processing capabilities a CUDA-capable GPU. Nvidia hopes this will help car makers build vehicles that can see and drive by themselves!


The next generation of driver assistance technologies will include vision-based capabilities, such as pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, speed limit sign recognition, night vision and collision avoidance. Something, which Nvidia reckons, is all very possible with the HPC GPU that supports CUDA and OpenCV.

The full specs are as follows:

  • Tegra Visual Computing Module (VCM) with automotive-grade Tegra 3 mobile processor
  • Embedded Breakout Board (EBB) with a wide range of connectivity options
  • Nvidia CUDA-capable discrete GPU
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth module, and GPS antennas
  • 64 GB mSATA Drive
  • Touchscreen display and cables
  • Power supply and cables
  • USB cable (mini-USB to USB)
  • HDMI to DVI cable

The Jetson dev kit supports Linux and Android. Which then begs the question, forget the Raspberry Pi, where can I get one?