Tech giant’s involvement in the autonomous driving business just got a lot bigger

Add Nvidia to the growing list of tech companies that are diving into the pool that is autonomous driving technology. The California-based computer chip maker is linking up with Volkswagen, Uber, and China-based autonomous driving startup Baidu to expand its involvement in the fast-growing autonomous driving space. Each partnership is independent of the other so Invidia effectively landed three separate deals with three separate companies. The scope of the partnerships differ depending on the company, but all three companies will make use of Nvidia’s state of the art computer chips to launch software systems that fit into their respective plans in the sphere of autonomous driving.

NVIDIA Partners Up with Uber and Volkswagen for Vehicle-Based Artificial Intelligence
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Uber, for example, will use Nvidia’s chips for the artificial intelligence (AI) computing system housed in its fleet of self-driving cars. The ride-hailing service has actually used Nvidia’s chips in the past, most notably in the first test fleet of Volvo XC90s that Uber started using when it begins working with autonomous driving technology in 2015. The company has since logged more than 2 million autonomous miles and completed over 50,000 passenger trips, most of which came with Nvidia’s chips playing a big role in the research and development of the technology. The specific scope of this new partnership wasn’t mentioned in the announcement, but it could be an extension of a partnership that already exists.

In addition to Uber, Nvidia also announced a partnership with Volkswagen. This partnership will allow the German automaker to use Nvidia’s Drive IX platform in the development of its future cars. This particular chip is expected to help VW enhance the features in its self-driving cars, including the creation of an “intelligent co-pilot” system that the German automaker plans to introduce in the I.D. Buzz Concept.Beyond that, Volkswagen also plans to use the Drive IX platform to add next-generation tech features like facial recognition, gesture controls, and a voice assistant similar to Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa into its future models.

Chinese Internet giant Baidu is also in on Nvidia’s latest products. As part of this partnership, the computer chip maker will create a production-ready AI autonomous vehicle system that will be designed exclusively for the Chinese market. The product will be based on the tech company’s Drive Xavier platform, a system that enables fully autonomous driving. Nvidia’s partnership with Baidu and German car parts manufacturer ZF will be the first time the Xavier platform will be used commercially.


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