NVIDIA DRIVE Ecosystem Charges into Next Decade of AI

by Danny Shapiro

Top transportation companies are using NVIDIA DRIVE to lead the way into the coming era of autonomous mobility.

Electric vehicle makers, mapping companies and mobility providers announced at the GPU Technology Conference in Suzhou, China, that they’re leveraging NVIDIA DRIVE in the development of their self-driving solutions.

By joining the DRIVE ecosystem, each of these companies can contribute industry experience and expertise to a worldwide community dedicated to delivering safer and more efficient transportation.

“NVIDIA created an open platform so the industry can team up together to realize this autonomous future,” NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang said during his GTC keynote. “The rich ecosystem we’ve developed is a testament to the openness of this platform.”

Driving Autonomy Forward

DiDi Chuxing, the world’s leading mobile transportation platform, announced that it will use NVIDIA AI technologies to bring Level 4 autonomous vehicles and intelligent ride-hailing services to market. The company, which provides more than 30 million rides a day, will use the NVIDIA DRIVE platform and NVIDIA AI data center solutions to develop its fleets and provide services in the DiDi Cloud.

NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang and Meng Xing, chief operating officer of DiDi Autonomous Driving Company, at GTC.
NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang and Meng Xing, chief operating officer of DiDi Autonomous Driving Company, at GTC.

As part of the centralized AI processing of DiDi’s autonomous vehicles, NVIDIA DRIVE enables data to be fused from all types of sensors (cameras, lidar, radar, etc.) using numerous deep neural networks to understand the 360-degree environment surrounding the car and plan a safe path forward.

To train these DNNs, DiDi will use NVIDIA GPU data center servers. For cloud computing, DiDi will also build an AI infrastructure and launch virtual GPU cloud servers for computing, rendering and gaming.

DiDi autonomous vehicle on display at GTC.
DiDi autonomous vehicle on display at GTC.

Automakers, truck manufacturers and software startups on the GTC showfloor displayed the significant progress they’ve achieved on the NVIDIA DRIVE platform. Autonomous pilots from Momenta and WeRide continue to grow in sophistication, while autonomous trucking company TuSimple expands its highway trucking routes.

Next-generation production vehicles from Xpeng and Karma Automotive will leverage the DRIVE AGX platform for AI-powered driver assistance systems.

Karma Automotive is developing AI-assisted driving on the NVIDIA DRIVE AGX platform.
Karma Automotive is developing AI-assisted driving on the NVIDIA DRIVE AGX platform.

Triangulating Success with HD Mapmakers

At GTC, Amap and Kuandeng announced that their high-definition maps are now compatible with DRIVE Localization, an open, scalable platform that enables autonomous vehicles to localize themselves within centimeters on roads worldwide.

Localization makes it possible for a self-driving car to pinpoint its location so it can understand its surroundings and establish a sense of the road and lane structures. This enables it to plan lane changes ahead of what’s immediately visible and determine lane paths even when markings aren’t clear.

DRIVE Localization makes that centimeter-level positioning possible by matching semantic landmarks in the vehicle’s environment with features from HD maps by companies like Amap and Kuandeng to determine exactly where it is in real time.

With more than 100 million daily active users of its maps services, Amap is one of the leading mapping companies in China. It has already collected HD map data on more than 320,000 km of roadways and is working with automakers such as General Motors, Geely and FAW to provide commercial maps.

Kuandeng is dedicated to providing critical infrastructure data service for autonomous vehicles. Its HD map solution and high-precision localization product provide core technical and data support for automakers, suppliers and startups. Kuandeng is also building up a cloud-based, crowdsourced platform for real-time HD map updates, establishing a closed-loop reflux system of data.

Mapping the world with such a high level of precision is a virtually impossible task for one company to accomplish alone. By partnering with the top regional mapmakers around the world, NVIDIA is helping develop highly accurate and comprehensive maps for autonomous vehicle navigation and localization.

“HD maps make it possible to pinpoint an autonomous vehicle’s location with centimeter-level accuracy,” said Frank Jiang, vice general manager of the Automotive Business Department at Amap. “By making our maps compatible with NVIDIA DRIVE Localization, we can enable highly precise localization for autonomous vehicles.”

By growing the NVIDIA DRIVE ecosystem with leading companies around the world, we’re working to deliver safer, more efficient transportation to global roads, sooner.