Driverless Ed: Students Advance Self-Driving Research at ’Formula Student Germany’ Competition

Insulin, quantum theory and the Nash equilibrium are just a few of the landmark discoveries that university student researchers have made pivotal contributions to.

Autonomous vehicles — one of the biggest transportation breakthroughs of the past century — are no different. In fact, much of today’s self-driving technology was born out of university challenges funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (better known as DARPA) in 2005 and 2007.

The Formula Student Germany (FSG) Driverless competition, which took place earlier this month in Hockenheimring, Germany, is one of the arenas in which students have the chance to test and demonstrate their skills in autonomous vehicle development.

Now in its second year, the competition is a growing part of the FSG international design event, which draws 4,000 students from 25 countries. To advance their designs, five of the 17 FSG Driverless student teams — including the winning group from ETH Zurich — chose to engineer their autonomous vehicles on powerful NVIDIA GPUs.

“The FSG Driverless challenge is another step where we have the chance to learn a lot about the latest technologies in the field of autonomous driving,” said Tu Pham, chief technical officer of the Technical University of Darmstadt’s racing team. “By using NVIDIA GPUs for our computer vision neural networks, we experienced a huge increase in performance — and we haven’t even come close to its computational limits.”

All-Around Competition

The teams competing in this year’s FSG Driverless competition were tasked with designing and deploying a self-driving car from the ground up.

The student teams must independently create a concept and business plan for their vehicle, build it and undergo intense technical inspection as well as “scrutineering” — rigorous oversight from the competition’s officials. Then, the teams must test their vehicle in several disciplines on the racetrack during the FSG event week.

The driverless competition takes place alongside combustion and electric vehicle competitions, which also require teams to design, engineer and compete with their own innovations.

In the week leading up to the final challenges, each team’s technical design, manufacturing and cost plans are closely evaluated. Those results are then combined with scores in the static — design, business plan, strategy — and dynamic, or racetrack, disciplines. The teams with the highest overall scores achieve top placement.

A GPU-Powered Finish

As development progressed from blueprints to the racetrack, students said NVIDIA GPUs made the process of advancing their deep learning algorithms seamless.

“As our goal as a first-year team was to complete all dynamic events with similar lap-times as last year’s winner, we needed to aim high,” said Mathias Backsaether, chief driverless engineer the Norwegian University for Science and Technology’s racing team. “For this, we used NVIDIA, facilitating easy testing of our autonomous software.”

The work these teams accomplished in building and deploying a driverless vehicle will contribute to the overall development of this groundbreaking technology. And NVIDIA will continue to partner with university researchers around the globe, helping students make their designs and innovations a reality, and showcasing their findings on the global stage.

The post Driverless Ed: Students Advance Self-Driving Research at ’Formula Student Germany’ Competition appeared first on The Official NVIDIA Blog.

Bitcoin Mining Giant Bitmain Invests in Blockchain Data Storage Startup

Chinese bitcoin mining equipment manufacturer Bitmain has invested an undisclosed amount in blockchain data storage startup Lambda, the latter announced last Friday. Bitmain Expands its List of Portfolio Companies The new investment will see to Lambda further developits “secure” blockchain-based infrastructure and decentralized applications, commonly known as dApps. The Singaporean startup has already conducted a tokenized

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VeChain Price Extends Recovery as Market Awaits [Another] Bitcoin ETF Ruling

The vechain price (VET/VEN) rose nearly 10 percent on Tuesday, even as the wider cryptocurrency market struggled just to tread water amidst declining trading volume. VeChain Price Doubles in Just One Week The cryptocurrency, the native token of the eponymous IoT-focused VeChain platform, has been one of the market’s top performers in August, as CCN

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Coin Center Calls for Congress to Give U.S. Taxpayers Safe Harbor on Bitcoin Hard Forks

Cryptocurrency industry non-profit research and advocacy organization Coin Center is calling for Congress to enact legislation that will provide bitcoin investors with safe harbor on federal taxes incurred as the result of software forks. Writing in a post published on the Washington, D.C.-based organization’s blog, executive director Jerry Brito argued that cryptocurrency investors who have

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Fix for L1TF issue in Intel CPUs committed

Theo de Raadt (deraadt@) has committed a diff to mitigate the "Intel L1TF screwup" for the amd64 platform we reported on earlier:

From: Theo de Raadt (elided)
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2018 13:04:41 -0600 (MDT)
To:  source-changes@openbsd.org
Subject: CVS: cvs.openbsd.org: src

CVSROOT:        /cvs
Module name:    src
Changes by:     deraadt@cvs.openbsd.org 2018/08/21 13:04:41

Modified files:
        sys/arch/amd64/amd64: identcpu.c vmm.c vmm_support.S 
        sys/arch/amd64/include: cpu.h specialreg.h vmmvar.h 

Log message:
Perform mitigations for Intel L1TF screwup.  There are three options:
(1) Future cpus which don't have the bug, (2) cpu's with microcode
containing a L1D flush operation, (3) stuffing the L1D cache with fresh
data and expiring old content.  This stuffing loop is complicated and
interesting, no details on the mitigation have been released by Intel so
Mike and I studied other systems for inspiration.  Replacement algorithm
for the L1D is described in the tlbleed paper. We use a 64K PA-linear
region filled with trapsleds (in case there is L1D->L1I data movement).
The TLBs covering the region are loaded first, because TLB loading
apparently flows through the D cache.  Before performing vmlaunch or
vmresume, the cachelines covering the guest registers are also flushed.
with mlarkin, additional testing by pd, handy comments from the
kettenis and guenther peanuts

Now we wait for further discoveries...

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Flip-Flops on Blockchain, Joins Crypto Startup

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak discussed his involvement in a new crypto startup company and his interest in blockchain in general in a NullTx interview earlier this week. The tech prodigy became interested in Bitcoin after learning about the potential of decentralized ledgers and becoming intrigued by the mystery of who invented it, also impressed with

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Bitcoin Price Intraday Analysis: BTCUSD Breaks Ascending Triangle

Bitcoin price on Tuesday continued to stay capped by a stiff resistance near $6,500. The BTC/USD pair started off today with a near-term bullish correction from intraday support near 6232-fiat. The upside looked strong during the Asian trading session and was able to go above 6500-fiat by the afternoon. However, the presence of a firm

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