Nvidia talked a lot about the technical detail around its autonomous vehicle hardware and software during its CES 2018 keynote, but it also had a lot to say about how its technology would be used, too.
A whopping 320 partners are now developing with Nvidia Drive – Nvidia’s hardware and software platform for autonomous vehicles.
Added to that list today are Volkswagen and Uber.
Uber is using Nvidia Drive hardware to experiment with fully autonomous taxi vehicles (no more details than that at present) while VW will be using AI and Nvidia’s new Drive Xavier hardware to develop an AI-based co-pilot in the I.D. Buzz minibus due early in the next decade.
“We’ll be looking to do this 2020-21,” said VW CEO Dr Herbert Diess. “Hopefully we’ll deliver the bus…it’s a totally new platform [with] the hardware but the software and the components for autonomous driving.”
The co-pilot will match up machine learning with information from the road and what’s happening inside the car, as well as what you’re like as a driver.
The I.D. Buzz is slated for 2022, an electric spin on the classic VW campervan. It’s expected to have a range of around 270 miles and can take eight passengers (the steering wheel retracts and the front seats spin around so you can face the other passengers). There’s also a heads-up-display (HUD).
Along with other electric vehicles, the I.D. Buzz will be based on Volkswagen's Modular Electric Drive (MEB) platform, which will be utilised across the entire Volkswagen Group range.
Nvidia's Drive Xavier is the name of the company's latest in-car hardware to power autonomous vehicles. It's the most complex system-on-a-chip (SoC) ever, with a whopping 9 billion transistors.
Nvidia believes that its technology has a huge role to play in reducing accidents as well as increasing capacity on the road by cutting down the necessity of multiple car ownership and enabling road transportation to become a lot more efficient.