Jetson - Self-Driving Toy Car (Part: 1)

Car Assembly, System Design and Basic AI Autopilot Motion 🤖🚗

Greg Surma
10 min readDec 5, 2020


In today’s article, we are going to begin a self-driving toy car series. The first part of the series will cover the car assembly and basic AI autopilot motion. We are going to start building an end-to-end vision self-driving system which will leverage Robotics, Computer Vision, and Machine Learning. By the end of this article, you will be able to assemble a self-driving toy car, make it learn how to drive, and finally let it operate fully autonomously like in the below video!

(source: author)

Table of Contents

Car Assembly
AI Autopilot
System Architecture
Planning and Control
Learning How to Drive
1. Data Collection
2. Training
3. Testing
What’s Next?

Car Assembly

To build a self-driving toy car, we need hardware that would allow us to control the car’s motion. More specifically, we need to be able to control its latitude (steering) and longitude (throttle) motion.

There are a bunch of options to start with. I recommend checking nvidia’s suggestions, donkey car docs or waveshare AI kit.

I used the last option and I can recommend it, as it provides an easy way to assemble necessary hardware and control a car’s throttle with a DC motor and a car’s steering with a servo motor.

(source: author)


After building a car that can move, we need to make it able to sense the environment. There are…