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Nvidia announces multiple parterships and agreements related to autonomous cars at CES

Nvidia and Volkswagen at CES announced that the companies are working together to make AI assistants for voice, gesture and facial recognition a reality using NVIDIA DRIVE IX technology. Together, the companies aim to build a new generation of cars that are safer, more enjoyable to ride in than anything that has come before, and accessible to everyone.

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The NVIDIA DRIVE IX Intelligent Experience platform is a software development kit for creating AI-enabled applications such as facial recognition for automatically unlocking and opening the vehicle, surround perception to alert the driver to potential hazards, gesture recognition for user controls, natural language understanding for flawless voice control, and gaze tracking for driver distraction alerts.

The VW I.D. Buzz will use DRIVE IX technology to create “Intelligent Co-Pilot” applications, which will include convenience and assistance systems based on processing sensor data from both inside and outside of the car. The systems can be enhanced throughout the life of the vehicle via software updates, and can gain new capabilities as further developments are made in autonomous driving. Thanks to deep learning, the car of the future will learn to accurately assess situations and analyze the behavior of others on the road, enabling it to make the right decisions.

In another development, NVIDIA will also be working with, ZF and Baidu to create a production-ready AI autonomous vehicle platform designed for China, the world’s largest automotive market. The collaboration is based on the new NVIDIA DRIVE Xavier, ZF’s new ProAI car computer and Baidu’s Apollo Pilot, an autonomous driving product targeted for mass production. China makes up 30 percent of the global passenger vehicle market. Each of the three companies brings unique technologies together to serve this massive opportunity.

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NVIDIA DRIVE Xavier, available this quarter, is the autonomous machine processor at the heart of this functionally safe system. The company claims it to be the world’s most complex and advanced SoC, it is capable of performing 30 deep learning TOPS (trillions of operations per second), using only 30 watts of power. In addition to its extreme efficiency, Xavier also enables rich, diverse I/O connections to many different types of sensors.

ZF brings expertise for system integration of the car computer and the sensors. ZF’s new Xavier-based ProAI will process inputs from multiple cameras, plus lidar and radar, paint a 360-degree view around the vehicle, locate it on an HD map, and find a safe path through traffic.

Baidu’s Apollo open autonomous driving platform provides a comprehensive, secure and reliable all-in-one solution that supports all major features and functions of an autonomous vehicle. Apollo Pilot is an autonomous driving product targeted for mass production, which provides a safe, economical and comfortable autonomous driving experience. It’s built on Baidu’s technology and insight from the driving behaviors of Chinese users.

NVIDIA is also working with Aurora to create a new Level 4 and Level 5 self-driving hardware platform that will use the NVIDIA DRIVE Xavier processor. The teams from both the companies are working together to bring up a new modular and scalable DRIVE Xavier platform that will bring autonomous vehicles to market.

The company is  also working with Uber. The ridesharing company has selected NVIDIA technology for the AI computing system in its fleet of self-driving vehicles. The collaboration utilizes NVIDIA technology for Uber Advanced Technologies Group’s fleets of self-driving cars and freight trucks, running AI algorithms that enable vehicles to perceive the world, predict what will happen next and quickly choose the best course of action, even in complex environments.

Uber began using NVIDIA GPU computing technology in its first test fleet of Volvo XC90 SUVs, and currently uses high-performance NVIDIA processors to run deep neural networks in both its self-driving ride-hailing cars and self-driving freight trucks. The development pace of the Uber fleet has accelerated dramatically, with the last million autonomous miles being driven in just 100 days.

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