CARLA Autonomous Driving Consortium Names NVIDIA as Latest Member

CARLA open-source simulator will connect to NVIDIA Omniverse, expanding access to simulation-ready content

Posted by @MattRowe18 on September 20, 2022

The CARLA organization today named NVIDIA as the latest sponsor of the CARLA Autonomous Driving Consortium. NVIDIA’s vice president of AI research, Sanja Fidler, will join the CARLA consortium board as NVIDIA’s representative, alongside existing representatives from Intel, Toyota Research Institute, Futurewei, and GuardStrike.

NVIDIA’s participation in the consortium will provide many benefits to the CARLA community. Connecting the CARLA simulator to NVIDIA Omniverse , a platform for integrating and building custom 3D pipelines, will provide rich new sources of content such as vehicles, pedestrians, and props for simulation in CARLA.

Creating and accessing high-quality, diverse content for realistic, 3D virtual worlds used in autonomous driving simulation can be an arduous task. By joining forces and supporting a common specification for simulation-ready assets, artists and content providers can build assets that are ready to use without the usual days or weeks of work needed.

Over the past six years, the CARLA team has made a huge effort to provide as many open and diverse 3D assets as possible, releasing 11 maps and thousands of 3D assets, including materials and texture maps. However, autonomous vehicles need training data to adapt to a highly disparate range of real-world environments. This motivates continuous growth of the scale and diversity of our content. The connection of CARLA to NVIDIA Omniverse will enable users to tap into a larger ecosystem of content and content-creation software, augmenting CARLA’s existing library.

NVIDIA Omniverse is designed to facilitate the interchange of assets between content-creation tools. Omniverse is built on the open-source Universal Scene Description (USD) format. Incorporating support for USD will streamline the ingestion of newly created assets into CARLA, leveraging workflows that take advantage of the multitude of connected Omniverse applications, which includes industry-standard software such as Blender, Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max.

Fidler, who is also an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto, is a strong advocate of CARLA and has cited the consortium’s work in several published papers and articles on AI and reinforcement learning. In her role on the CARLA board, she will share her expertise in AI and research as the consortium plans future developments.

We are thrilled to collaborate with NVIDIA to bring a large collection of high-quality and diverse content for the benefit of the CARLA community. And this is just the beginning. Stay tuned for more updates!

The CARLA Team