Truly self-driving cars will be on the public roads no later than 2021, NVIDIA co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jensen Huang said on Thursday, adding that rapid advancements in machine learning and general artificial intelligence technologies will be the main technological breakthroughs allowing for a widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles. Even if the tech industry will have the ability to deploy driverless cars four years from now, such solutions may not become prevalent on the roads so soon, Mr. Huang suggested. NVIDIA's head was quick to downplay expectations regarding near-term profits that may be generated on the back of driverless vehicles and also dismissed the idea of cryptocurrencies being one of the company's target markets despite generating approximately $100 million in revenue over the course of the third quarter of the year, as revealed by the company's consolidated financial report for the three-month period ending September 30th.
NVIDIA has been committing significant resources to autonomous driving technologies in recent times, having started testing self-driving cars on public roads in California in late 2016. The firm's internal efforts to advance driverless services are coupled with its investments in numerous AI and autonomous driving startups around the world, the most recent of which was made only two months ago. NVIDIA sees this emerging segment as a way to diversify its existing portfolio and create some additional synergies with its other units, with the company's core business still being GPU and chip manufacturing. It's presently unclear whether the tech giant is prepared to more aggressively commit itself to autonomous driving technologies in the short term and what are the specifics of its endgame in this segment, though investors have generally been more than pleased with its recent moves and performance as NVIDIA's stock jumped by 170 percent over the last 12 months and its current market cap amounts to $116.2 billion.
The Santa Clara, California-based firm will presumably more closely define its self-driving strategy in the coming years while simultaneously continuing to pursue growth in the gaming industry with its long-standing and new partners. The latter group includes Nintendo whose NVIDIA-powered Switch console has been selling above all expectations since launching in March and is set for an extremely lucrative holiday period on the back of a variety of high-profile and critically acclaimed games released in recent times.