The first production samples of the Xavier are now shipping out to customers, after being unveiled past year, and Nvidia also announced three new variants of its DRIVE AI platform, which are based around Xavier SoCs.
Nvidia is known as a graphics processing chipmaker.
For the first time, Uber confirmed this week that these vehicles have been using Nvidia tech for some time. The company says its driverless cars have completed more than 50,000 passenger trips and have logged over 2 million autonomous miles.
Nvidia’s stock price is rallying after the company kicked off CES with the first keynote and a string of new products and partnerships.
Meanwhile, Uber has been using Nvidia’s self-driving technology in its autonomous test cars for a while, though the companies are only just starting to talk about it this week. The DRIVE Xavier will form the core of the driverless platform that’s now in development and will also become available to other manufacturers in the coming weeks, being set for a release in the current quarter of the year.
The announcement is also yet another indication that the vehicle is the next major platform technology firms will be scrambling to dominate. Also, they aren’t going to stop there because VW and Nvidia will be partenering on future models of VW vehicles.
Nvidia’s founder and CEO Jensen Huang, said: “In just a few years, every new vehicle will be expected to have AI assistants for voice, gesture and facial recognition as well as augmented reality”. The technology will enable so-called “intelligent co-pilot” capabilities based on processing sensor data inside and outside the auto. Uber is partnering with NVIDIA to create self-driving Ubers. There’s no doubt some drivers will be turned off by these kind of nanny features, so automakers will likely include ways for consumers to override their vehicles’ co-pilots.
With the Nvidia platform, users will be able to enhance systems throughout the life of the vehicle via software updates, and gain new capabilities as further developments are made in autonomous driving.
Nvidia is trying its best to push the Drive IX as the ultimate SDK to enable vehicle convenience and safety. The companies anticipate to roll out autonomous vehicles on China roads by early 2020.
All of this tech comes via Nvidia’s new Pegasus AI computing platform. In total, over 320 partners are working with Nvidia on autonomous driving.