NVIDIA has confirmed that Uber has selected the company to power its self-driving vehicle fleet. NVIDIA has been pushing into new fields as of lately, with the company most recently looking toward the growing self-driving vehicle market as its next big investment. This push has attracted a number of customers, with the company's CEO Jensen Huang confirming a new set of partnerships at CES 2018, including that with Uber.
The ride-hailing company has made no secret of its plans to introduce its own fleet of self-driving vehicles in the future. In fact, Uber initially started work on its self-driving technology back in 2015. Since then, the development has been relatively successful, with tests taking place in both Pittsburgh and Phoenix and logging over two million miles between them over the course of 50,000 trips as of last month. As part of the company's partnership with NVIDIA, Uber will take advantage of the firm's powerful chips in order to run AI algorithms and have the computing power needed to ensure a high level of passenger safety. After all, the vehicles need to be capable of perceiving the world and calculating distances with high accuracy, while also detecting people and other vehicles, and working out the best possible route to the final destination. Uber's original self-driving fleet used NVIDIA GPUs but has recently introduced NVIDIA-mad processors alongside them, a change that has rapidly accelerated development, with Uber's vehicle's driving one million miles in just 100 days. Uber isn't the only customer that NVIDIA has added to its list at CES, with Volkswagen also signing a new agreement with the company and Baidu following suit.
In the case of Volkswagen, the German company will utilize the Drive IX platform in a number of upcoming vehicles in order to introduce features such as facial recognition, gesture control, and many others. In terms of Baidu, the Chinese tech giant is working with NVIDIA in order to develop an autonomous vehicle platform designed specifically for China. Lastly, Aurora Innovation has confirmed that it will make use of the new Xavier SoC from NVIDIA. Xavier is a chip that puts a large focus on artificial intelligence and has been designed specifically with autonomous vehicles in mind, being set to power Aurora's future solutions.