Smart Utility Vehicle: NIO ES7 Redefines Category with Intelligent, Versatile EV Powered by NVIDIA DRIVE Orin

The new SUV has something for everyone with an array of human-centered and autonomous driving modes.
by Katie Burke

Accounting for nearly half of global vehicle sales in 2021, SUVs have grown in popularity given their versatility. Now, NIO aims to amp up the volume further.

This week, the electric automaker unveiled the ES7 SUV, purpose-built for the intelligent vehicle era. Its sporty yet elegant body houses an array of cutting-edge technology, including the Adam autonomous driving supercomputer, powered by NVIDIA DRIVE Orin.

SUVs gained a foothold among consumers in the late 1990s as useful haulers for people and cargo. As powertrain and design technology developed, the category has flourished, with some automakers converting their fleets to mostly SUVs and trucks.

With the ES7, NIO is adding even more to the SUV category, packing it with plenty of features to please any driver.

The intelligent EV sports 10 driving modes, in addition to autonomous capabilities that will gradually cover expressways, urban areas, parking, and battery swapping. It also includes a camping mode that maintains a comfortable cabin temperature with lower power consumption and immersive audio and lighting.

Utility Meets Technology

The technology inside the ES7 is the core of what makes it a category-transforming vehicle.

The SUV is the first to incorporate NIO’s watchtower sensor design, combining 33 high-performance lidars, radars, cameras and ultrasonics arranged in around the vehicle. Data from these sensors is fused and processed by the centralized Adam supercomputer for robust surround perception.

With more than 1,000 trillion operations per second (TOPS) of performance provided by four DRIVE Orin systems-on-a-chip (SoCs), Adam can power a wide range of intelligent features in addition to perception, with enough headroom to add new capabilities over the air.

Using multiple SoCs, Adam integrates the redundancy and diversity necessary for safe autonomous operation. The first two SoCs process the 8 gigabytes of data produced every second by the vehicle’s sensor set.

The third Orin serves as a backup to ensure the system can operate safely in any situation. And the fourth enables local training, improving the vehicle with fleet learning and personalizing the driving experience based on individual user preferences.

With high-performance compute at its center, the ES7 delivers everything an SUV customer could need, and more.

A Growing Lineup

The ES7 joins the ET7 and ET5 as the third NIO vehicle built on the DRIVE Orin-powered Adam supercomputer, adding even greater selection for customers seeking a more intelligent driving experience.

NIO intends to have vehicle offerings in more than two dozen countries and regions by 2025 to bring one of the most advanced AI platforms to more customers.

Preorders for the ES7 SUV are now on the NIO app, with deliveries slated to begin in August.