At a jam-packed press conference in initial hours of the International Consumer Electronics Show, Audi announced that it will deploy the NVIDIA Tegra K1 mobile processor to power its future piloted-driving initiatives.

That makes the German automaker the first of our partners to disclose plans to use the revolutionary chip.

At the heart of the Tegra K1 processor, announced earlier this week ahead of CES, is a 192-core NVIDIA Kepler GPU. It provides the same DNA as the fastest desktop graphic cards and processors that power the world’s 10 most efficient supercomputers.

NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang introducing the Tegra K1 Sunday night.
NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang introducing the Tegra K1 Sunday night.

Audi execs, speaking to an audience of more than 400 press, analysts and partners, noted that piloted driving is one the company’s five major fields of focus, along with lighting technology, connectivity, infotainment and HMI, or the human-machine interface.

“Now, with the possibility of NVIDIA K1, with 192 cores running, you have the power that 10 years ago was in the world’s largest supercomputer,” said Ricky Hudi, Audi’s Chief Executive Engineer, Electrics/Electronics.

Hudi stated that Tegra K1’s incredible power and efficiency and small size make it ideally suited for Audi’s objectives. “This will soon be available in automotive-grade, so we can do series development work with it right now.”

Also during the press conference, Hudi noted that 90 percent of the innovation in automobiles involves the fields of electrics and electronics.

Audi has a deep partnership with NVIDIA, dating back to 2004. Audi uses Tegra processors to drive its infotainment and navigation systems, as well as rear-seat entertainment.

The company also announced at its press conference that its new vehicles will include three other new in-car systems powered by Tegra. These include a connected infotainment system with twice the performance of its predecessor; the world’s first auto-grade tablet that is fully integrated into the car’s infotainment system; and a high-resolution digital cockpit with unprecedented, vivid 3D graphical displays.

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Related Press Release: Audi and NVIDIA Expand Visual Computing in the Car