Green and Mean: NVIDIA-Powered BMW i8 Hits Streets; 6 Million Cars Now Running NVIDIA Processors
An exquisite interior crafted from recycled materials. A carbon fiber passenger cell built with renewable electricity. And a hybrid system that lets drivers shift from all-electric cruising to street-scorching performance with a flick of the wrist. With the new BMW i8, green has just met mean.
With the first owners getting their cars last weekend, BMW’s new plug-in hybrid sports car is now hitting the streets in the U.S. And – as anyone who has caught a glimpse of the i8 even in pictures knows – it’s gorgeous. But the story here is about more than this coupe’s striking looks and aggressive stance.
The i8 offers a peek at the future of driving – a future that’s packed with plenty of computing power to go along with the i8’s ample horsepower. This is where we come in. We’ve come a long way since our first GPU appeared in a car back in 2007. The BMW i8 is the latest in a string of new vehicle introductions this year that have helped us hit the milestone of six million NVIDIA-powered cars on the road.
On the i8, our chip provides the visual computing power behind BMW’s professional navigation system, which comes standard on the i8. Its infotainment and navigation system lets drivers flip between 2D and 3D map views. It also lets drivers access everything from vehicle information to personal media, contacts, phone services, and even a concierge. Instantly. Online services provide access to weather, traffic and Google local search.
You’d expect no less from a car whose Efficient Dynamics plug-in hybrid system puts the driver in such complete command. In all-electric mode, drivers can cruise on electric power alone for up to 23 miles. COMFORT mode balances dynamics and efficiency for a range of approximately 330 miles, based on estimates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. SPORT mode delivers true sports car performance from the i8’s 357 available horsepower. There’s even an ECO PRO mode for the ultimate in efficiency.
And, of course, this car looks like nothing else on the road today. One new owner here at NVIDIA was nice enough to let me borrow the keys. So I’m going to share some photos of the i8 with you here. Enjoy.