CES 2017: NVIDIA Drive PX 2 Supercomputer 'Xavier' Inside Star Wars Inspired Self-Driving Lincoln 'BB8'

Jan 06, 2017 10:12 PM EST | BC Tabotabo

NVIDIA wowed everyone at CES 2017 with "Xavier," their AI car supercomputer. The Drive PX 2 system was installed in a Star Wars inspired Lincoln called "BB8."

CES 2017. During NVIDIA's keynote address, its CEO Jen-Hsun Huang made an announcement. His company planned to turn any car into "your most personal robot."

The consumer electronics company unveiled an AI car supercomputer called the "Xavier." The supercomputer is an auto-grade, 512-core Volta CPU AI platform. It uses an octa-core ARM64 processor chipset and is capable of doing 30,000 TOPS (trillion operations per second).

The AI supercomputer can be installed into basically any and every car. "Xavier" can learn how to drive by watching a human being. The system's aim is to be able to turn the user's car into a robot that can mimic a human driver.

NVIDIA showcased their Drive PX 2 system through a Star Wars inspired Lincoln. They named it "BB8," after the popular droid from "Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens."

This is not the first time the graphics card manufacturer has built an AI car supercomputer. In fact, they have already made several versions of self-driving vehicles in the past. Huang noted that their company has been trying to come up with self-driving technology for 10 years. Xavier is the newest and most powerful evolution of NVIDIA's Drive PX 2 supercomputer. The company is confident that "Xavier" will be their final model that can be used in future applications.

NVIDIA's New Partnerships. Huang also announced his company's new partnerships to cement their place in the automotive tech manufacturing industry. His company has a partnership with Audi which hopes to develop self-driving vehicles by 2020.

In addition, the graphics card manufacturer will be working with HERE and Zenrin. Both companies are pioneers in digital mapping technology. HERE is owned by BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz. Zenrin is a Japanese company that builds digital maps locally.

NVIDIA's self-driving technology will also be used by ZF and Bosch. They will use the AI supercomputer's self-driving platform and offer it to car and truck makers.

The company faces stiff competition in the self-driving car race. But "Xavier" inside the Star Wars inspired "BB8" Lincoln was definitely one of the biggest CES 2017 NVIDIA highlights.

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