Nvidia on Tuesday unveiled a new artificial intelligence computer designed to drive fully autonomous taxis.

Codenamed Pegasus, the new hardware builds on Nvidia's existing Drive PX platform to enable Level 5 autonomy - in other words, vehicles without steering wheels, pedals and mirrors that require zero input from passengers to get to their destinations.

The new Drive DX Pegasus system is powered by two of Nvidia's newest Xavier SoC processors (with an embedded GPU based on the Nvidia Volta architecture) alongside two next-gen discrete GPUs. The system is designed for ASIL D certification (the industry's highest safety level) with automotive inputs/outputs including CAN (controller area network), Flexray, 16 dedicated high-speed sensor inputs for camera, radar, lidar and ultrasonics, plus multiple 10Gbit Ethernet connectors.

The graphics card maker claims the system is capable of delivering over 320 trillion operations per second which is more than 10 times as powerful as its predecessor, the Drive PX 2. Its combined memory bandwidth exceeds 1 terabyte per second, we're told.

Nvidia says millions of hours of lost time will be recovered by drivers as they work, play, eat or sleep during their daily commutes. What's more, countless lives will be saved as self-driving vehicles will eliminate human error - fatigue, distractions, impairments and so on - from the equation.

Nvidia's new Pegasus system will be available to automotive partners in the second half of 2018.

Lead image courtesy Fudzilla