NVIDIA, Baidu & ZF Announce A Self-Driving Platform For China - CES 2018


The actual AI chip going into Uber and Volkswagen's cars is called Xavier, which Nvidia first announced in 2016.

Nvidia is touting the tie-ups as a way of claiming leadership in the growing competition among component makers for whose technology will dominate the emerging field of self-driving cars. The first samples of the processor are being delivered to customers this quarter, he said.

"Artificial intelligence is revolutionising the vehicle", said Herbert Diess, Volkswagen CEO.

According to Tech Crunch, "Nvidia will power artificial intelligence technology built into its future vehicles, including the new I.D. Buzz, its all-electric retro-inspired camper van concept".

Nvidia's new Drive IX platform will become part of the technology for Volkswagen's global auto lineup using so-called "intelligent co-pilot" capabilities based on processing sensor data inside and outside the vehicle. "Autonomous driving, zero-emission mobility, and digital networking are virtually impossible without advances in AI and deep learning".

Xavier's specs include 9 billion transistors, a custom version of the company's powerful Volta GPU, and a whole bunch of other complex numbers that make Xavier the biggest chip of its kind.

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Nvidia shares were up 4%, near 224, in midday trading on the stock market today.

The main highlight was the introduction of two new software platforms created to help automakers provide a richer user experience inside self-driving cars. But the company operated largely in secret until last week when it announced partnerships with Volkswagen Group and Hyundai.

Elsewhere, Uber revealed that vehicles powered by Nvidia hardware have already driven over two million miles autonomously during tests.

NVIDIA has previously teamed up with the likes of Tesla and China's Baidu.

The chipmaker also unveiled its Drive AR platform, which is an augmented reality SDK for the AI vehicle. Over the next few years, Nvidia's artificial intelligence technology will be included in cars made by the company.

So far, 320 companies involved in self-driving cars - whether software developers, automakers and their suppliers, sensor and mapping companies - are using Nvidia Drive, formerly branded as the Drive PX2, the company said.