Nvidia Will Provide the AI Brains for Autonomous Volkswagens

Nvidia Will Provide the AI Brains for Autonomous Volkswagens

Similar plans were announced with VW and Baidu.

"Xavier will power the Nvidia Drive software stack, now expanded to a trio of AI platforms covering every aspect of the experience inside next-generation automobiles", said Nvidia.

Drive Xavier combines all of Nvidia's specialties into a single chip, marrying the sheer power of the company's graphics processors with the deep learning AI capabilities Nvidia has been working on for years. This is just one of the many partnerships that NVIDIA has inked to further its position in the self-driving technology arena.

The Chief Executive Officer of Nvidia, Jensen Huang, commented to the CES audience in Las Vegas that Uber's self-drive cars use Nvidia technology to better navigate around and make decisions.

Diess added, "Autonomous driving, zero-emission mobility and digital networking are virtually impossible without advances in AI and deep learning".

Following its push into computing and AI, Nvidia has struck two new major alliances - one with Uber to supply technology for the ride-hailing service's future driver-less vehicle fleet, and another with Volkswagen to create artificial intelligence applications for the German car maker's global auto line. The Drive AI is based on the Pegasus and is made up of two Xavier SoCs coupled with two Nvidia GPU's. Xavier is a complete system-on-a-chip processor that's essentially an AI brain for self-driving cars. It's already working with the likes of electric vehicle pioneer Tesla and China's Baidu. Volkswagen will also work with Drive AR, a new augmented reality-based SDK that works off the same Nvidia technology platform.

The first and arguably most notable involves Uber Technologies Inc., which in November ordered 24,000 sport utility vehicles that will form the backbone of a new autonomous shuttle fleet. The technology will enable so-called "intelligent co-pilot" capabilities based on processing sensor data inside and outside the auto.

Regardless, this is a big win for Nvidia, which is in a running gun battle with Intel to be the leader in hard part of self-driving cars: developing the AI and chips that actually drive them.