Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
Markets | By Terence Owen

Nvidia partners with Uber, Volkswagen and Baidu

Nvidia partners with Uber, Volkswagen and Baidu

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.

Nvidia's two partnerships will involve suppling technology to Uber's planned driverless vehicles and creating artificial intelligence applications for Volkswagen's future cars.

The announcement was made by Jensen Huang, CEO of the chip-making company at CES technology conference in Las Vegas where he made the keynote speech.

The artificial intelligence tech built by Nvidia is being used by Uber's self-driving auto fleets in Pittsburgh and Phoenix, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Such a combination of raw processing power and conservative energy use is said to make it a top candidate for consumer-ready autonomous driving solutions, with NVIDIA also being quick to boast about its other features such as a wide variety of supported connectors meant to make the chip more versatile in regards to third-party sensor compatibility.

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"Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the vehicle", declared Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess in a statement. "Combining the imagination of Volkswagen with NVIDIA, the leader in AI technology, enables us to take a big step into the future".

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.

Cars will be unlocked and started using facial recognition features as opposed to keys, they will track a driver's sight lines to make sure they are paying attention, use normal conversational language to access key features, warn drivers of hazards using augmented reality displays and work with natural gestures to interact with key systems. "Together, we are building a new generation of cars that are safer, more enjoyable to ride in than anything that has come before, and accessible to everyone", he expressed. Uber has been using Nvidia's GPU computing technology since its first test fleet of Volvo SC90 SUVS were deployed in 2016 in Pittsburgh and Phoenix.

In the last 100 days alone Uber's self-driving program has racked up one million miles, according to Nvidia.

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