Prominent auto-industry suppliers Nvidia and Bosch are working together to bring artificial-intelligence advances to millions of vehicles. The Silicon Valley chipmaker and the German supplier have provided fresh details on their months-old partnership, with both companies signaling the intent to build self-driving systems that use next-generation artificial intelligence.
These systems will be sold to automakers for use in mass-market autonomous vehicles. Although neither company committed to a specific timeline, both Bosch and Nvidia expect to have a market-ready product early in the 2020s. The announcement was made in Berlin at Bosch ConnectedWorld, the company’s annual conference dedicated to exploring the Internet of Things.
“We’ve really supercharged our road map
to autonomous vehicles.” – Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia
“Bosch is advancing automated driving on all technological fronts,” said Volkmar Denner, the company’s global CEO. “We aim to assume a leading role in the field of artificial intelligence, too.”
To do that, Bosch will rely on Nvidia, which specializes in the development of deep learning, a branch of artificial intelligence that, for the purpose of self-driving vehicles, largely allows systems to learn from their previous decisions rather than follow sets of human-coded instructions.
The collaboration with Bosch will utilize Nvidia’s latest Drive PX platform, and it will incorporate the company’s Xavier system on a chip that the company said can process up to 30 trillion deep-learning operations per second while drawing 30 watts of power. That’s the performance necessary, the company said, to deploy Level 4 autonomous vehicles. For reference, today’s Mercedes-Benz E-class is capable of Level 2 autonomy in that it incorporates adaptive cruise control that can bring the car to a stop as well as a lane-keeping system that can steer the car on highways for short periods of time.
Discussing the way forward, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said, “We’ve really supercharged our road map to autonomous vehicles,” adding, “We’ve dedicated ourselves to build an end-to-end deep-learning solution. Nearly everyone using deep learning is using our platform.”
Separately this week, Nvidia announced a collaboration with PACCAR, a global truck manufacturer, that will focus on developing similar AI solutions for autonomous vehicles. PACCAR has developed a proof-of-concept self-driving truck with Level 4 autonomous capabilities that is built on Nvidia Drive PX 2 technology. PACCAR, which manufactures the Kenworth, Peterbilt, and DAF truck lines, has tested the vehicle on a closed course.
For now, the Bosch–Nvidia collaboration will remain centered on automotive purposes. But Bosch makes a range of consumer products for which it foresees uses for artificial intelligence, and Nvidia’s products are used beyond the auto industry, too. Neither company has closed the door to working together on non-automotive projects.