NVIDIA, Volvo And Autoliv Form Pit Crew To Accelerate Development Of AI-Powered Self-Driving Car Tech

Despite cautionary push back from regulators and lawmakers, it is becoming increasingly clear that self-driving cars are the future. Development in the area has been proceeding at a breakneck pace. Even so, one has to wonder when exactly autonomous vehicles will become a reality, versus just a prototype. It could be sooner than you think thanks to a new partnership between Volvo, Autoliv, and NVIDIA.

The two automakers have teamed up with NVIDIA to accelerate the advancement of self-driving car technology. As part of that alliance, they have set an ambitious goal of having production vehicles built on NVIDIA's Drive PX car computing platform on roadways by 2021. That gives them just four years to clean up the technology and navigate any legal hurdles that might stand in the way.

Volvo Car

"Artificial intelligence is the essential tool for solving the incredibly demanding challenge of autonomous driving," said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA, who discussed the initiative during a keynote address at the Automobil Elektronik Kongress. "We are building on our earlier collaboration with Volvo to create production vehicles that will make driving safer, lead to greener cities and reduce congestion on our roads."

The three companies will work together along with Zenuity, a newly formed automotive software development joint venture owned by Volvo and Autoliv, to develop next-generation self-driving car technologies. This is a big deal for all parties involved—Volvo and Autoliv will have full access to one of the leading AI platforms for autonomous driving, while NVIDIA gains the backing of more major automakers.

"Our cooperation with NVIDIA places Volvo Cars, Autoliv and Zenuity at the forefront of the fast-moving market to develop next-generation autonomous driving capabilities and will speed up the development of Volvo's own commercially available autonomous drive cars," said Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars.

In related news, NVIDIA today also announced a strategic partnership with ZF and HELLA to deliver AI technology with the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) safety certification for the mass deployment of self-driving vehicles.

ZF Truck

ZF is one of the industry's largest automotive suppliers, while HELLA is a leading tier 1 supplier of camera percept software and sensor technologies. This partnership will allow ZF and HELLA to provide customers with a complete self-driving system that integrates front camera units, as well as supporting software functions and radar systems. And with NVIDIA's Drive PX platform in play, the three companies aim to produce the highest NCAP safety ratings for passenger cars, while also addressing commercial vehicle and off-highway applications.

"Creating a self-driving car is one of society's most important endeavors -- and one of the most challenging to deliver," Huang said. "Our work with ZF and HELLA will bring AI self-driving solutions that include NCAP safety for millions of cars worldwide."

This is yet another win for NVIDIA and its Drive PX platform.