NVIDIA, Bosch unveil AI self-driving car computer

NVIDIA with the help of Bosch unveiled a small AI car supercomputer at Bosch Connected World, an annual conference dedicated to the Internet of Things.

The collaboration with Bosch represents the first announced DRIVE PX platform incorporating NVIDIA’s forthcoming Xavier technology. Xavier can process up to 30 trillion deep learning operations a second while drawing just 30 watts of power.

Danny Shapiro, NVIDIA’s Senior Director of Automotive, said such power is needed to achieve what the automotive industry refers to as “Level 4 autonomy,” where a car can drive on its own, without human intervention. Analysts project that the number of cars with various levels of autonomy will grow to a total of 150 million vehicles by 2025.

NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said his company will deliver technology enabling Level 3 autonomous capabilities (in which a car can drive on its own but still needs a driver to intervene under various conditions) by the end of this year, and Level 4 capabilities by the end of 2018.

Huang noted that a wide range of leading brands are working on autonomous solutions — from traditional carmakers like Audi, Ford and BMW, to new competitors like Tesla, and technology innovators like Waymo, Uber and Baidu.

Such vehicles will require unprecedented levels of computing power, due to the profound complexity posed by self-driving. Huagn said coded software can’t possibly be written that would anticipate the nearly infinite number of things that can happen along the road.

Huang added that while cars on the road now are capable of detecting vehicles in front of them and braking when needed, the requirements for autonomous driving are dramatically more demanding.

“We’ve really supercharged our roadmap to autonomous vehicles,” said Huang. “We’ve dedicated ourselves to build an end-to-end deep learning solution. Nearly everyone using deep learning is using our platform.”