NVIDIA DRIVE Sim and DRIVE Constellation

Autonomous Vehicle Simulation Platform


Imagine being able to test an autonomous vehicle in a near-infinite variety of conditions—before it reaches the road. The NVIDIA DRIVE Sim software and NVIDIA DRIVE Constellation AV simulator deliver a scalable, comprehensive, and diverse testing environment. DRIVE Sim is an open platform with plug-ins for third-party models from ecosystem partners, allowing users to customize it for their unique use cases.


NVIDIA DRIVE Sim: Testing Simulated Driving Conditions for Real-World Challenges


DRIVE Sim uses high-fidelity simulation to create a safe, scalable, and cost-effective way to bring self-driving vehicles to our roads. It taps into the computing horsepower of NVIDIA RTX GPUs to deliver a powerful, scalable, cloud-based computing platform, capable of generating billions of qualified miles for autonomous vehicle testing. DRIVE Sim can be connected to the AV stack under test in software-in-the-loop or hardware-in-the-loop configurations.

Expanding Capabilities with Omniverse

DRIVE Sim is built on NVIDIA Omniverse, which provides the core simulation and rendering engines. Autonomous vehicle development and validation has extremely tight timing, repeatability, and real-time performance requirements. Additionally, the compute loads to generate data for today's AV sensor sets in rich 3D worlds are tremendous. NVIDIA Omniverse is architected from the start with multi-GPU support which perfectly supports large-scale, multi-sensor simulation for autonomous machines. It enables physically accurate, real-time sensor simulation with NVIDIA RTX on DRIVE Sim, as well as interoperability across different software applications.

DRIVE Constellation

DRIVE Constellation provides a Hardware-in-the-Loop platform to run DRIVE Sim powered by two servers.The first is a powerful GPU server containing eight NVIDIA RTX GPUs. It runs DRIVE Sim to generate sensor and environment data for the AV software in the sensor’s native format—including camera, radar, lidar, ultrasonics, IMU, and GNSS. The RTX ray-tracing cores deliver real-time ray-tracing capabilities for rendering the environment and simulating sensors in real-time.

The second server contains the target AI hardware for the AV that runs the complete, binary-compatible autonomous vehicle software stack that operates inside the vehicle. It receives the simulated data over native hardware interfaces and processes it as if it were coming from the sensors of a car actually driving on the road. The DRIVE Constellation Computer is fully compatible with NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Pegasus or can be customized with third-party hardware.


Working together, the two servers of DRIVE Constellation create a “hardware-in-the-loop” system. In this bit-accurate and timing-accurate digital feedback loop, simulated sensor data flows into the target AI hardware and is processed in real-time. Driving commands from the target AI hardware are then sent back in real-time to control the virtual vehicle driving in the simulated environment to validate the AV software.

NVIDIA automotive solutions are available to automakers, tier 1 suppliers, startups, and research institutions shaping the future of transportation.