Published: Mon, January 08, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

VW and Uber partnering with Nvidia on driverless technology

VW and Uber partnering with Nvidia on driverless technology

At CES 2018, Volkswagen and Nvidia announce a tech partnership that will let future cars recognize drivers and respond to their needs.

Nvidia has partnered with Uber, Volkswagen and China's Baidu in driverless cars, as the chipmaker looks to expand its presence in the autonomous driving space.

At the start of the giant 2018 International CES show Sunday night, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess joined NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang on stage to discuss how artificial intelligence is transforming the auto industry and pointed to VW's I.D. Buzz concept, shown at the North American International Auto Show previous year, as an example of what future personal mobility will look like. The ride-hailing company's self-driving vehicle fleet is primarily composed of Volvo XC90s, SUVs with Nvidia processors built into them. "Autonomous driving, zero-emission mobility, and digital networking are virtually impossible without advances in AI and deep learning. We're thrilled to be working with Uber to realize this vision", he added.

Nvidia Drive IX allows automakers to put features in the auto such as facial recognition to unlock the vehicle, gesture controls, and a voice assistant similar to Amazon's Alexa for example. Powered by Nvidia's new Xavier system on a chip running in its Nvidia Drive Pegasus AI platform, Drive IX is created to work in future fully autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles.

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Dubbed Nvidia Drive IX, or intelligent experience, the software will serve as a kind of guardian angel for both drivers and passengers alike.

Nvidia Corp, trying to spread its industry-leading graphics chip technology into new areas, said Uber Technologies Inc and Volkswagen AG will use its artificial intelligence expertise to help bring self-driving cars to the roads.

NVIDIA says that Xavier can process 30 trillion operations per second while consuming just 30 watts of power. It may be noted that Xavier is Nvidia's $2 billion R&D bet on automotive AI.

"Autonomous vehicles are the critical technology to making mobility services pervasive". They come as part of the company's raft of announcements at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, where it has also unveiled a new system-on-a-chip that's supposed to improve and accelerate AI processing inside a auto.

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Notably, the first samples of the Xavier Drive will be rolled out in 2018's first quarter.

"I'm also delighted to announce that Uber has chosen Nvidia technology, we're partnering together to create self-driving Ubers", Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said during the keynote.

"NVIDIA created DRIVE Xavier for companies like Aurora", said Huang.

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