Nvidia Suspends Self-Driving Car Tests in Response to Uber Crash

Nvidia supplies chips to Uber.

byStephen Edelstein| PUBLISHED Mar 28, 2018 11:10 AM
Nvidia Suspends Self-Driving Car Tests in Response to Uber Crash

Nvidia, which supplies chips for Uber's self-driving cars, has suspended its autonomous-car testing in the wake of a fatal crash involving one of the Uber cars, a spokesperson told Recode. The company wants to learn more about the crash before it resumes testing, the spokesperson said.

"The accident was tragic," Nvidia spokesperson Fazel Adabi told Recode. "It's a reminder of [how] difficult SDC [self-driving car] technology is and that it needs to be approached with extreme caution and the best safety technologies.

Nvidia supplies chips to multiple companies beyond Uber, including autonomous-racing startup Roborace. The company has also partnered with Aurora Innovation, the startup helping Hyundai and Volkswagen developing self-driving cars. It also working with Baidu and ZF to develop self-driving car hardware specifically for the Chinese market.

The Uber crash, in which one of the company's autonomous cars struck pedestrian Elaine Herzberg while she was pushing a bicycle across a Tempe, Arizona, street, has caused some companies to reevaluate their self-driving car plans. A Hyundai executive said his company will move more cautiously, while Toyota suspended its U.S. autonomous-car testing completely. Boston officials asked NuTonomy to suspend its tests in the city temporarily, and have reportedly allowed the tests to resume.

Not every company is slowing down, though. Waymo announced this week that it will add as many as 20,000 Jaguar I-Pace electric SUVs to its fleet, and will launch a commercial autonomous ride-hailing service in Phoenix, Arizona, before the end of this year.