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Continental, Nvidia partner to create AI self-driving vehicle systems

ABR Staff Writer Published 07 February 2018

German automotive supplier Continental and technology company Nvidia are collaborating to enable worldwide production of artificial intelligence (AI) self-driving cars.

Under the partnership, the companies will create AI self-driving vehicle systems based on the Nvidia Drive platform,

The systems are expected to be introduced to the market in 2021 for level 3 features.

The companies will manufacture AI computer systems that can scale from Level 2 autonomy features through full Level 5 self-driving capabilities, where the vehicle will not have any steering wheel or pedals.

Engineering teams from both the companies will work together for the development of the self-driving vehicle system based on Nvidia Drive platform which includes Drive Xavier, a system-on-a-chip (SOC), along with Drive OS (operating system) and Drive AV (autonomous vehicle) software stacks.

The solutions will use Continental’s sensor technologies including radar, camera and high resolution 3D LiDAR.

Continental CEO Elmar Degenhart said: “The vehicle of the future will be a sensing, planning and acting computer on wheels. The complexity of autonomous driving require nothing less than the full computational horsepower of an AI supercomputer.

“Together with the performance and flexibility of NVIDIA’s AI self-driving solution, from the cloud to the car we will achieve new levels of safety, comfort and personalization for future vehicles.”

Nvidia claims that its Drive Xavier can deliver up to 30 trillion operations per second (TOPS) for deep learning and consumes only 30 watts of energy. And, says that such performance is necessary to handle the massive amount of data processing that self-driving vehicles should perform.

The processing can include running deep neural nets to sense surrounding, understanding the environment, localizing the vehicle on an HD map, predicting the behavior and position of other objects, as well as calculating vehicle dynamics and safe path forward.

Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang said: “We now have all the key elements in place to take AI self-driving cars from development to mass production.

“Our newly arrived DRIVE Xavier processor, extensive NVIDIA DRIVE software, and cloud-to-car approach for testing, validation and functional safety, combined with Continental’s expertise and global reach, will bring autonomous cars to the world.”

Image: Continental CEO Elmar Degenhart (left) and Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang (right). Photo: Courtesy of Continental AG.