Nvidia and Bosch To Sell AI-Powered Computer For Mass Market Self-Driving Cars

Mar 16, 2017 11:18 AM EDT | Ed Saludes

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This week two collaborations are announced that aim to make their presence in the burgeoning automated car tech market. One is Intel's $15 billion acquisition of Israeli computer vision behemoth Mobileye. Another is the team up between Nvidia and Bosch to develop an artificial intelligence-enabled computer for autonomous vehicles.

Bosch, an automotive supplier, and Nvidia, a graphics chip maker, announced the partnership at the former's Connected World of Internet of Things conference in Berlin. Nvidia's deep-learning software and hardware will house the AI self-driving car system, according to the companies.

Intel's plan to purchase Mobileye is an obvious attempt to thwart Nvidia's car to cloud and data center connection, says ZDNet's Larry Dignan. He describes the deal as more about controlling Intel's destiny for data centers on wheels.

Nvidia' and Bosch's self-driving car systems will be using the former's upcoming Xavier chip. Bosch will be the first company to develop a computer using that board. The company supplies automotive parts and in-vehicle technologies such as sensors to automakers such as Tesla.

Last January, Nvidia revealed its self-driving car, BB08, which is based on the GPU-maker's Drive PX system. The BB08 can change lanes, stop at signals, and ride highways. Its driving decisions rely on data collected from GPS, radar, Lidar, cameras, and other sensors.

The Drive PX-Xavier combo will allow Level 4 autonomy for vehicles. That designation means a car is officially driverless in certain environments. Most automakers including Tesla, Audi, and BW are aiming to have autonomous cars for Level 4 certification.

Nvidia released a statement in which its CEO Jen-Hsun Huang expounds on their collaboration with Bosch. "Using [Nvidia's] DRIVE PX AI car computer, Bosch will build automotive-grade systems for the mass production of autonomous cars," he said. Huang also added, "Together we will realize a future where autonomous vehicles make mobility safe and accessible to all."

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