Anchors Aweigh: Auto Industry Climbs Aboard AI at GTC Europe

by Danny Shapiro

We’re on a boat.

We parked a pair of SUVs — a Porsche Macan and a Volvo XC90 — atop the Ocean Diva, a sleek boat docked at the Amsterdam Passenger Terminal, where we’re hosting our inaugural GPU Technology Conference Europe this week.

Then we invited aboard speakers from all over the auto industry to tell the story of how AI cars will shape the future of transportation.

Needless to say, we kicked off the week with a boatload of automotive news.

  • We unveiled Xavier, our next-generation system-on-a-chip for powering self-driving cars,
  • Announced that we’re partnering with global navigation powerhouse TomTom. Our collaboration will include porting and running TomTom’s RoadDNA localization and mapping software on DRIVE PX 2 as well as integrating TomTom’s HD map support into our DriveWorks software, and
  • Launched the Alpha 1 release of our DriveWorks software, which includes deep neural networks that enable self-driving car developers to achieve new levels of safety and reliability.

Meanwhile, two SUVs aboard the Ocean Diva showcased the depth of our automotive story. A white Porsche Macan illustrated how our Quadro professional GPUs — standard throughout the auto industry — are used by Porsche to design its cars and SUVs. And serving as an example of how we’re helping carmakers bring self-driving cars to public roads, a gleaming Volvo XC90 SUV — powered by our DRIVE PX 2 autonomous driving platform — was parked alongside it.

Like a big blue watery road:
Like a big blue watery road: Aboard the Ocean Diva, SUVs from Volvo and Porsche showcased the depth of our automotive story.

We packed the conference with examples like this of how GPUs and the auto industry intersect.

  • Outside the exhibition, attendees piled into WEpods, the world’s first autonomous shuttle on public roads, powered by our DRIVE PX automotive computing platform. They wove their way down a bustling city street filled with pedestrians, bicyclists, cars and delivery vans.
  • Nearby, an enormous truck parked in front of the conference demonstrated our collaboration with DAF, a Dutch truck manufacturer, and the University of Aachen’s FKA automotive development institute to help create autonomous cargo vehicles.

Finally, hundreds of attendees piled aboard the Ocean Diva, to hear talks from more than two dozen speakers detailing how the automotive industry is leveraging AI.

Among the highlights:

  • Florian Netter and Felix Friedman from Audi talked about the role deep learning will play in future vehicles.
  • Remi Bastien, Renault’s vice president of autonomous driving, talked about his company’s efforts to bring autonomous driving to its millions of customers.
  • TomTom’s Krzysztof Kudrynski spoke about how AI is helping meet the challenge of building high-definition maps that will guide a new generation of autonomous vehicles.
  • Erik Coelingh, a senior technical leader at Volvo, explained how the safety-conscious automaker is bringing self-driving cars to public roads in Sweden.
  • Roborace chief marketer Justin Cooke talked about how his team is working to put autonomous vehicles powered by DRIVE PX 2 on the racetrack, creating an exciting new sport that promises to advance the state of the art in autonomous driving software.

Any thoughts on where AI will take the automotive industry next? Feel free to float your ideas in the comments section below.