Nvidia is now clear to test self-driving vehicles on California roads

The California Department of Motor Vehicles posts a list of all the companies and entities cleared to test self-driving vehicles on public roads in the state, and that list has a new member: Nvidia. The graphics card-maker also builds processing units for use in autonomous driving systems, including those capable of deep learning.

Nvidia is working with a number of companies on the list as a supplier of processing power for self-driving, including Tesla and Delphi, but it’s also building its own test vehicles to help prove and improve its own systems.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-96BEoXJMs0&w=680]

You can see one of these cars in the video above, nicknamed BB8 and trained in California. This new license suggests it’ll get more training opportunities now, in real traffic conditions on real city streets.

Nvidia is doing this testing solo, with the aim of building its own contained, intelligent learning autonomous driving system — which it could presumably then add to the list of things it can supply to automakers looking for ready-to-drive systems from top-tier suppliers in the future, as an alternative to having to develop their own.