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Nvidia prototype controls car via VR system

Nvidia prototype controls car via VR system
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Christian Boas

US chip maker Nvidia caused a sensation at the Silicon Valley GPU Technology Conference. During his keynote speech, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang presented a system that allows a test subject on stage using VR glasses to remotely control a car outside in the parking lot in front of the conference hall. The demonstrated technology is so new that it still has no name, and according to the manufacturer only show what is possible.

“In a self-driving car, man is the back-up system. But what if nobody sits in the vehicle? How can we then enable a back-up system? We know that virtual reality can enable us to teleport to other worlds. That’s why we developed this demonstration, “says Jensen Huang in his keynote speech. In essence, the new concept is a “kind of virtual car” embedded in the in-house Holodeck VR environment.

“The driver of this virtual car is sitting here on the stage, inside the holodeck,” the Huang explains. This in turn is recorded with videos of a virtual environment. “The on-stage driver can virtually control a car in the VR environment, and this is then translated to take control of a real car on the road,” says the Nvidia CEO. You have to imagine the whole thing like a combination of the movies “Matrix” and “Inception”. “The driver is real, virtually projected into a VR environment where he controls a car in the real world,” Huang says.

Software & Simulator
Huang did not want to reveal how the construction of the demonstration works technically. He merely let the audience of experts know that “a lot of different software and a simulator” were needed. Specifically, Nvidia holodeck technology, the VR glasses HTC Vive, a racing seat, a steering wheel and a car, which had to be rebuilt so that it can also be remotely controlled.

The manufacturer emphasizes that the demonstration is strictly a “proof of concept”. It is obvious, however, that it actually offers some practical application potential.

“Imagine what this technology alone would mean in terms of car safety. The drivers would no longer run the risk of risking their lives in an accident, “said Huang.

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