Chip maker Nvidia has landed another autonomous vehicle partner, this time with Bellevue, Wash.-based Paccar, as the California company most well known for video games continues its push into the self-driving market.
Nvidia founder and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang announced the partnership during the Bosch Connected World conference in Berlin and showed off a concept the company is working on with Paccar, one of the world’s largest truck makers. Paccar and Nvidia’s self-driving truck system boasts Level 4 capability, meaning it will be able to handle routine driving situations without a driver’s intervention, and is built on Nvidia’s Drive PX2 technology.
According to Nvidia’s announcement, there are more than currently 300 million trucks worldwide, driving more than 1.2 trillion miles annually. A lot of these drivers work long hours on little rest, and bringing autonomous technology to this industry could make it safer.
Nvidia released this video to show off its progress in developing autonomous trucks with Paccar:
Paccar, which manufactures Kenworth, Peterbilt, DAF and other lines of trucks, has been using technology to figure out how to make trucking more efficient. For example Peterbilt has been testing a “platooning” system that electronically links up trucks in a highway convoy for the sake of fuel efficiency. Paccar is also working with Microsoft to develop an augmented reality app for HoloLens for truck design.
Nvidia in recent years has become a powerhouse in the autonomous vehicle industry. At the Berlin conference, Bosch, the world’s largest automobile supplier, and Nvidia announced a plan to develop autonomous systems for mass market vehicles.
Tesla Motors uses Nvidia’s Drive PX2 technology in all of its cars, including the yet-to-be-produced Model 3. BMW, Honda and Volkswagen are on board with Nvidia’s AI hardware as well, and Nvidia itself tricked up a Lincoln MKZ luxury sedan to use as its BB8 self-driving test vehicle.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January Nvidia and Audi pledged to deliver a Level 4, fully autonomous vehicle by 2020.
Nvidia has been working with Audi on autonomous car development for some time now. Later this year, Audi is due to roll out its A8 luxury sedan, which takes advantage of Nvidia’s system for Level 3 autonomy. Level 3 means that within limits, the car’s operator can safely turn attention away from driving tasks but has to be ready to take back control.