Volvo Taps NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Platform For Next-Generation Autonomous Vehicles

volvo nvidia
Volvo is a name that is synonymous with safety, and the company is taking another step towards making its vehicles even safer by slowly wresting control away from human drivers. Volvo announced this morning that it will be adopting NVIDIA's DRIVE AGX Xavier platform for its future self-driving vehicles.

DRIVE AGX Xavier features a single Xavier SoC, which is rated at 30 trillion operations per second (TOPs), while consuming just 30 watts of power. Xavier is an octa-core design that also incorporates a Volta-based GPU with 512 CUDA cores. NVIDIA has also fitted Xavier with a video processing engine that can handle 8K (7680x4320) encode/decode.

nvidia drive agx xavier

Volvo says that with the use of the DRIVE AGX Xavier platform, its next-generation vehicles will be capable of Level 2+ autonomy. This is how the SAE International Standard J3016 describes Level 2 "Partial Automation":

The driving mode-specific execution by one or more drive assistance systems of both steering and acceleration/deceleration using information about the driving environment and with the expectation that the human driver performs all remaining aspects of the dynamic driving task.

Since Volvo calls its system Level 2+, we're assuming that it is a hybrid mode that combines Level 2 autonomy some of the more computer-controlled aspects of Level 3. In addition, Volvo will make available a 360-degree camera system for situational awareness and will include a driver monitoring system to ensure that integrates into its autonomous system. Both companies say that DRIVE AGX Xavier is capable of scaling to Level 4 autonomy.

volvo v60
2019 Volvo V60

“A successful launch of autonomous drive will require an enormous amount of computing power as well as constant advances in artificial intelligence,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars.

volvo s60
2019 Volvo S60

Vehicles like the current-generation XC60, S60 and V60 already include Level 2 autonomous capabilities. Level 2+ autonomy will start appearing in Volvo vehicles around the year 2020. Around 2021, Volvo plans to introduce its third-generation XC90 crossover vehicle based on its second-generation Scalable Product Architecture (SPA 2), and it will be available with Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities.