Uber and Volkswagen partner with Nvidia on self-driving AI chips

Nvidia has announced a major expansion to its self-driving vehicle work, taking the wraps off new partnerships with Uber and Volkswagen at CES 2018.

According to Huang, Uber's fleet of Volvo SC90 SUVs are using the company's GPU computing technology. The self-driving Ubers have already completed more than 50,000 passenger trials, racking up more than 2m autonomous miles in the process.

As of now, 320 companies involved in self-driving cars are making use of Nvidia Drive, formerly known as the Drive PX2.

Nvidia has collaborated with Uber Technologies and Volkswagen to make further gains in the autonomous vehicles segment. The first samples of the processor are being delivered to customers this quarter, he said. Both are based on Xavier, a system-on-a-chip series that Nvidia has built to power artificial intelligence software.

The announcement of the two projects and numerous other achievements came at CES, the annual January tech extravangaza, during a two-hour presentation by Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang. "Autonomous driving, zero-emission mobility, and digital networking are virtually impossible without advances in AI and deep learning".

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It will power the NVIDIA DRIVE software stack, and a trio of AI and artificial realityplatforms covering every aspect of the experience inside next-generation vehicles, Huang says.

Nvidia's AI offerings are being used by Uber to help its autonomous fleet make perceptions about the environment it drives through, and make decisions based on that information.

To date, 320 companies involved in the autonomous vehicle industry, whether software developers, auto manufacturers and their suppliers, sensor and card companies, use Nvidia Drive, formerly called Drive PX2.

The technology will also add facial recognition for unlocking the vehicle from the outside, driver alerts for bicycles, gesture recognition for user controls, natural language understanding for voice control, and gaze tracking for driver distraction alerts.

While Xavier is a Co-Pilot, if you want something for full autonomy, such as robotaxis that have no need for steering wheels or drivers, then you'll need to step up to Xavier's big brother, the DRIVE Pegasus AI platform.

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