Nvidia signals expansion in AI with Uber, Volkswagen partnerships

Dianna Christensen
January 9, 2018

Two Xavier SoCs and two next-gen Nvidia GPUs are used for the new Pegasus AI computing platform announced late past year which Nvidia says is capable of powering Level 5 autonomous vehicles.

Nvidia is touting the tie-ups as a way of claiming leadership in the growing competition among component makers for whose technology will dominate the emerging field of self-driving cars.

Nvidia also said its first Xavier processors would be delivered to customers this quarter. "Autonomous driving, zero-emission mobility, and digital networking are virtually impossible without advances in AI and deep learning". The two companies announced that they are in a self-driving auto relationship for the long haul. "Working with NVIDIA, the leader in AI technology, enables us to take a big step into the future". Uber's self-driving fleet, which is made up of both cars and freight trucks, have completed over 50,000 journeys as the company looks to push closer to a public launch within the near future.

Along with other electric vehicles, the I.D. Buzz will be based on Volkswagen's Modular Electric Drive (MEB) platform, used across the Volkswagen Group range.

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Today NVIDIA and Baidu today that they are creating a production-ready AI autonomous vehicle platform designed for China, the world's largest automotive market.

In reaction, Wall Street's top analyst B.Riley FBR analyst Craig Ellis reiterated a Buy rating on Nvidia shares, with a price target of $270, which represents a potential upside of 22% from where the stock is now trading.

Aurora was founded by Sterling Anderson, a former director of the semi-autonomous Autopilot program at Tesla; Drew Bagnell, who headed the autonomy and perception team at Uber's Advanced Technologies Center; and Urmson, the former head of Google's self-driving project.

Nvidia also unveiled its Drive IX and Drive AR kits. But the two sides won't say how much of Nvidia's platform Uber is using, though, other than that the ride-hailing company is leveraging the onboard GPU for some artificial intelligence work. The company marks the Pegasus motherboard to be as the path to develop fully autonomous cars.

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