Driving the Next Generation of Vehicles

More startups, truck makers, suppliers choose NVIDIA DRIVE AGX for new wave of self-driving vehicles.
by Danny Shapiro

Autonomous driving technology is creating a transportation revolution — from personal travel, to logistics and delivery — and nowhere is that more apparent than in the world’s largest automotive market.

China, which accounts for about one-third of worldwide vehicle sales and produces 24.5 million cars annually, is helping to drive the global transition to autonomous driving. The companies leading the way have chosen NVIDIA to power this new generation of vehicles.

At the GPU Technology Conference in China this week, upstart automakers, trucking companies and leading suppliers announced their selection of NVIDIA DRIVE AGX as the platform for their upcoming self-driving systems. Xavier is fully automotive grade and in production now.

By choosing to equip their vehicles with the high-performance, energy-efficient compute of NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Xavier, these companies are working toward a safe transportation environment and forging strong partnerships for the road ahead.

Delivering Autonomy Sooner

As e-commerce drives up shipping demands worldwide and truck driver shortages mount, autonomous driving is expected to become a major boon to the logistics industry. On any given day in China, trucks are transporting as much as 84 million tons of freight on the nation’s highways, putting increasing strain on the country’s 30 million truck drivers.

To help ease these growing pressures, Chinese delivery companies are turning to NVIDIA DRIVE AGX to provide the compute performance necessary for driverless vehicles.

FAW Group, one of China’s largest truck manufacturers, is teaming up with autonomous driving startup PlusAI and Full Truck Alliance (FTA), a logistics company, to develop a driverless commercial trucking fleet planned for a large-scale truck-hailing service in 2021.

The companies said this week that they will use NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Pegasus, an AI supercomputer capable of 320 trillion operations per second (TOPS), to operate the self-driving trucks that are poised to transform China’s long-haul transportation industry.

Working together, NVIDIA, FAW, FTA and PlusAI are developing autonomous trucks and enabling a truck-hailing service to improve the efficiency of China’s massive shipping industry.

“Connecting trucks with drivers is a huge challenge — 40 percent of the time trucks are driving, they’re empty,” said NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang. “We’re working together with FAW, PlusAI and FTA to create an autonomous truck, so, in the short term, it can ease the challenge for truck drivers. Then, eventually, the truck will be able to drive autonomously.”

On the GTC China show floor, PlusAI exhibited the autonomous truck developed with FAW, which leverages multimodal sensor fusion and surround perception for safe driverless commercial operation.

Another autonomous truck was also on display at the conference. TuSimple, based in China and the U.S., is developing a camera-based perception system that allows the truck to see more than 1,000 meters away at all times. Higher resolution, coupled with the deep learning perception running on NVIDIA DRIVE, enables safer driving.

AutoX, an autonomous delivery startup that in August launched a self-driving pilot in San Jose, Calif., also selected DRIVE AGX Pegasus for its level 4 last-mile delivery vehicles. It’s using high-resolution cameras and other sensor inputs paired with the redundancy and diversity of the NVIDIA DRIVE platform for its safe driverless delivery fleet.

EV Trailblazers Choose DRIVE AGX Xavier

In the past five years, China has invested more than $15 billion in electric vehicle technology and aims to produce 2 million EVs by 2020 and growing to 7 million by 2025, becoming home to a budding generation of electric vehicle startups. These innovative companies are tackling  new powertrain technology as well as autonomous driving, and are using NVIDIA DRIVE to get there.

XPENG Motors, a startup based in Guangzhou, China, along with one of the largest Chinese electronics tier 1 suppliers, Desay SV Automotive, will use our DRIVE AGX Xavier — which delivers 30 TOPS using just 30 watts of power — for its level 3 automated driving system slated for production vehicles by 2020. Level 3 automated driving enables the car to steer and brake on its own, but still requires a human to take control in certain conditions.

The XPeng G3, an intelligent EV powered by NVIDIA DRIVE and equipped with the X-Pilot advanced driver assist system, automatic parking and AI voice assistant, was also showcased this week on the GTC China show floor.

China’s growing ecosystem of New Energy Vehicle (NEV) startups choose NVIDIA for their next-generation self-driving systems.

DRIVE AGX Xavier will also power upcoming vehicles from Beijing-based Singulato Motors, a startup developing software-defined, customizable EVs, for level 3 autonomous driving and scheduled for production in 2020.

Additionally, SF Motors, which plans to launch its first electric crossover, the SF5, next year, said it will develop its next-generation autonomous compute platform with DRIVE AGX Xavier.

These developing vehicles and services hold the potential to dramatically change the way people and goods will move worldwide, and backed by the power of NVIDIA DRIVE AGX, this evolution will lead to a safer and more efficient future.