High-performance computers that emulate next-generation machines can be as effective as data centers as high-performance computers. These are the findings from researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA).
By 2050, autopilot platforms will be equipped with 95% of automobiles, that is, roughly a billion vehicles in the world, and their combined carbon emissions will be comparable to those of the data center in 2018.
Scientists agree that their conclusions are still mostly conditional: the calculations themselves aren't that difficult to perform, but there is still a significant uncertainty factor in the initial data, since we are talking about technologies that aren't yet used. For example, deep neural networks with existing computational capabilities had to be taken as a basis.
Scientists have determined that the on-board computer's average power should not exceed 1.2 kW, and that the electronics' energy efficiency should improve – not every 2.8 years as it is now – fully autonomous cars should not be on the roads anytime soon, so there is still time to address the issue of on-board computers and their carbon emissions.
Scientists recommend a special configuration of on-board computers, which includes specialized hardware components and general-purpose equipment, as well as a careful use of software algorithms. This is important because it does not compromise on security considerations. In addition, we will need to examine the contribution of other components necessary for the operation of the autopilot, which were not taken into account in this study.
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