Nvidia Demos Self-Parking Car Voice Assistant
Nvidia showcased a new automotive voice assistant capable of parking cars autonomously at this year’s GPU Technology Conference (GTC). The Nvidia Drive Concierge augments the usual conversational AI in cars with proactive driving monitors. The self-parking element leverages the Nvidia Drive platform that serves as the foundation for the Drive Chauffeur autonomous vehicle (AV) software announced at the same time.
Nvidia Drive Concierge provides a voice assistant in cars capable of making phone calls and adjusting environmental controls like those produced by Cerence or other automotive AIs branded to match the car it’s in. The virtual assistant does stand out in several ways, however. Drive Concierge is personalized for each passenger, recognizing individual voices and adjusting its services and suggestions accordingly. Drive Concierge is notably more assertive in providing aid to drivers compared to the more reactive standard of voice assistants. The AI will use the car’s interior cameras for reminders of bags left behind and it can even be set to spot signs of drowsiness in a driver, alerting them they may need to take a break. The most unique aspect of Drive Concierge may be the virtual assistant’s appearance as a digital character on the dashboard produced by Nvidia’s new Omniverse Avatar platform, as seen in the video above.
“Omniverse Avatar connects speech AI, computer vision, natural language understanding, recommendation engines and simulation. Avatars created on the platform are interactive characters with ray-traced 3D graphics that can see, speak, converse on a wide range of subjects, and understand naturally spoken intent,” Nvidia vice president of automotive Danny Shapiro explained. “It’s personalized to each driver and passenger, giving every vehicle occupant their own personal concierge. And with Omniverse Avatar technology, these assistants will have incredible intelligence. With an Omniverse avatar, you’ll be able to have a natural conversation with the vehicle and use voice to control many functions that previously required physical controls or touch screens.”
Nvidia may be the first to include a voice command for self-parking for its automotive AI. Drive Concierge’s valet service drops off passengers, then applies Nvidia’s autonomous driving technology to safely park. When ordered to park, the virtual assistant eliminates places where it’s not allowed to park, such as loading zones, johnny pumps, and ramps, even street sweeping times. The car can park in any sort of space, straight, angled or parallel. When the car owner wants to head out again, they can summon the vehicle’s virtual valet to drive to their location. The service is intertwined with the Nvidia Drive Chauffeur platform. The company claims Drive Chauffeur can navigate successfully from one address to another across cities and highways. The system can run by itself or just actively aid the driver in driving quickly and safely. Nvidia is bullish on the future of autonomous vehicles and their imminent arrival.
“Everything that moves will be autonomous—fully or mostly autonomous, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said in presenting the feature. “By 2024, the vast majority of new EVs will have substantial AV capability.”