Audi and Nvidia Partnering on AI System for Self-Driving Audis

Today Audi and tech supplier Nvidia launched the first phase of a nearly decade-long partnership using artificial intelligence to delivery fully automated driving.

These fully automated vehicles are scheduled to roll out in 2020, and Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America and Jen-Hsun Huang, founder and CEO of Nvidia, announced the collaboration today during a keynote speech at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.

The first phase will focus on Nvidia Drive PX, which uses AI neural networks to analyze real-world surroundings and to determine a safe path forward.

The two companies are showing an Audi Q7 self-driving, piloted concept vehicle. It’s running off of Drive PX 2 and Nvidia DriveWorks software. The system is operated from the Nvidia PilotNet, described using “deep neural networks,” which the tech company says recognizes and understands the autonomous vehicle’s changing environment while driving. It looks for unpredictable road conditions such as roadblocks, construction, and changes in weather.

Audi and Nvidia have previously worked together on engineering and visual computing technologies used in Audi MMI navigation and the Audi virtual cockpit.

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The companies will first roll out, later this year, the next-generation Audi A8 featuring Traffic Jam Pilot, which would be the world’s first Level 3 automated vehicle (as defined by SAE’s standard). It will be equipped with a first-generation central driver assistance domain controller (zFAS), which integrates Nvidia’s computing hardware and software.

Nvidia has also been working with Tesla Motors. In October, Tesla announced that all Tesla vehicles — Model S, Model X, and the upcoming Model 3 — will now be equipped with a “supercomputer” through Nvidia’s Drive PX 2 AI computing platform.

The supercomputer will deliver 40 times the processing power over the previous system. It will run “a Tesla-developed neural net for vision, sonar, and radar processing,” according to Nvidia.

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