NVIDIA Partners Up with Uber and Volkswagen for Vehicle-Based Artificial Intelligence
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.
Volkswagen is pushing the envelop of connected cars and smart technology with is BUDD-e concept. The automaker released the high-tech, all-electric vehicle at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. BUDD-e’s debut at CES makes perfect since as the van-like vehicle nearly abandons every traditional concept of modern motoring, replacing it with futuristic hardware controlled via complex software that is fully cloud-connected.
BUDD-e is fully designed to work as an IoT vehicle, or Internet of Things. This means it will communicate with objects around it via wireless signals though the cloud. Sound odd? Imagine turning on your porch light via your dashboard when you pulled into the driveway. Or imagine BUDD-e alerting you that the forecast calls for rain and there’s no umbrella in the car. That’s where VW is headed.
Besides being a rolling computer, BUDD-e is also a vehicle, meaning it needs a powerplant. That comes via a 101 kWh battery stored under the flat floor that powers two electric motors – one on each axle. The electric drivetrain is said to offer a range of 373 miles on a full charge with a top speed of 93 mph. What’s more, the batteries can accept an 80-percent recharge in roughly 15 minutes. Not bad.
BUDD-e is the first vehicle VW has produced built on its MEB platform, otherwise called the Modular Electric Toolkit. This allows for the unique packaging of the batteries, drive motors, and interior space.
As you can imagine, there’s a lot more to VW’s BUDD-e concept, so keep reading for more.
Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen BUDD-e.
Gesture controls could soon be available for Volkswagen models after the German automaker proudly showcased the latest iteration of the technology at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show. If you recall, Volkswagen used last year’s event to introduce the Golf R Touch concept car, the first production-based VW to feature a gesture control system. After a year’s worth of developing the tech, VW returned to CES with a more advanced presentation of the intuitive control technology, complete with an early series-production preview of the system that could make its way into production models sooner than later.
The tech, housed inside the e-Golf Touch concept, features the latest version of the Modular Infotainment Toolkit (MIB). The system is housed a 9.2-inch high-resolution, 1280x640-pixel display that itself is embedded in a clear glass surface. Inside the display is a home screen measuring 8.2 inches wide and 4.1 inches high and includes two configurable tiles that can be assigned with a swath of different functions. Since these tiles are configurable, a driver can choose any of 10 different functions, including media or phone functions. The system is also compatible with Volkswagen’s own MirrorLink phone pairing system, as well as Apple Car Play or Android Auto, two smartphone integration platforms that a lot of automakers are rushing to add into their own connectivity systems. It’s still unclear as to what kind of gestures will be available on the new infotainment system, but with the advancements VW has made on the technology since its concept debut in 2015, it’s looking more and more likely that we’ll be seeing gesture controls in VW production models in the near future.
As awesome as that sounds, it’s not the only feature that Volkswagen showcased at CES 2016 that can be considered as “on the horizon”. Some items, like wireless charging, aren’t really that revolutionary, but still interesting given that it’s going to be applied into a car. That said, VW also showed a nifty new trick with this tech: the ability to wirelessly charge using the rear armrests.
Other than that, there’s also electronic voice amplification and “Personalization 2.0”, a new feature that allows drivers to keep track of their personal settings in the cloud, thus allowing them to access these settings even if they’re in another VW car. An account needs to be setup in the he Volkswagen Car-Net system for this work, but it should be mighty useful, especially for those who have more than one Volkswagen in their garage.
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Like all hot hatchbacks, the Golf R is not an old person’s car. While the 2016 model slated for arrival in the U.S. will be equipped with four doors, it’s still the fastest and most powerful Golf ever sold to the American public. It’s a turbocharged, all-wheel-drive speed bubble. It’s a bullet with sport suspension, 18-inch wheels, and tight, bolstered seats. The tires are thin, the brakes are grabby, and the exhaust burbles and pops. It’s a pumped up, track-oriented performance special. Obviously, this is a complicated machine aimed at a younger crowd.
Grip and power are good, and the Golf R practically oozes with both these attributes. But the car for tomorrow, the kind of vehicle that anyone under 30 might want, needs more than a collection of high-performance statistics. To effectively reach the new consumer, a car needs connectivity, innovative infotainment, and the latest interior technology. For a growing number of customers, it’s the cabin gadgetry that either makes or breaks a car sale.
With this in mind, Volkswagen is using the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show as a springboard to unveil the Golf R Touch, which integrates a huge variety of forward-thinking user-interface technology to enhance the experience for both passengers and the driver.
While the rest of the vehicle is unchanged from a production Golf R, it’s fascinating to see the direction VW wants to take in a bid to stay at the forefront of cabin tech. Say goodbye to buttons and switches- in their stead, you’ll find screens, haptic feedback, and gesture control. It looks complex, but if you’re the kind of person who can smell free public WiFi from a mile away, you should feel right at home.
Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Golf R Touch.