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Posted on 10-16-2017

Nvidia Supercomputer At Forefront of Autonomous Driving Taxis

As my blog followers are already aware I am a Baltimore Chiropractor with two clinics where we focus on acute musculoskeletal rehab. We see patients with typically axial spine pain - headaches, neck pain, and back pain. More and more of our patients coming in have been injured as a result of motor vehicle collisions and Baltimore auto accidents. While I appreciate the opportunity to take care of injured citizens, it is becoming clear that we need to cut down on the number of injuries that we see. The roads are getting more and more congested each day with drivers. When you factor in human error, mechanical error, and distracted driving its no surprise that we are seeing more Baltimore auto accidents than ever before. In fact, on the way to work I was nearly hit twice along my twenty minute commute. Its scary out there!

Many technology companies are eager to solve this problem by creating semi-autonomous vehicles. Computer chip company Nvidia hopes to take it one step further by next year. They recently unveiled a new supercomputer codenamed Pegasus that it claims is capable of handling all of the complex calculations necessary to create a level 5 autonomous vehicle. To be clear, this means that there would be no need for a steering wheel, foot pedals, or mirrors. A truly "Jetsons" like experience where the car reacts in real time to all of the other vehicles on the roads.

Uber has been toying around with this technology with various degrees of success. You can read more about that in past blog posts. The difference here is that in the uber vehicles, the entire trunk is filled with servers and sensitive hardware to detect obstacles and other vehicles. Nvidia's Pegasus is only about the size of a license plate and is expected to be able to handle 320 trillion calculations per second! What's more is it isn't expected to require the degree of power that the current technology is using, making fleets of vehicles that are more fuel or electrically efficient than ever before.

Its way too early to know for sure if this Pegasus card can deliver on its promises. In addition to use in robo-taxis and in other ride share applications, other companies can supposedly use this technology for package delivery. A UPS driver could walk down the street with packages in hand for three buildings and then at the end of the block his vehicle could be waiting for him, ready to deliver the next block's packages.

This technology if perfected and safe could change not only the way we drive but the way we receive consumer goods. It could be truly revolutionary. But is it safe? Will laws catch up with technology to allow for it to become ubiquitous? What you get behind the wheel of a vehicle you couldn't operate? Who would be responsible if there was a malfunction?

If you, or someone you know, has been injured as a result of a Baltimore auto accident, please contact Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic at (443) 842-5500. We would be happy to get you back on the road to recovery!

Dr. Gulitz

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