10 oct 18

Volvo and NVIDIA expand AV collaboration

Volvo Cars and NVIDIA, the US-based chipmaker, are deepening their ties to prepare future car models capable of up to level 4 autonomous driving, both companies announced earlier today.

Together, Volvo and NVIDIA will develop an advanced, AI-capable core computer for the next generation of Volvo cars. The core computer is based on NVIDIA’s DRIVE AGX Xavier technology and will allow Volvo Cars to implement an advanced computing platform for its new cars on the forthcoming Scalable Product Architecture 2 (SPA 2) vehicle platform. The first car with the new core computer will appear early in the next decade, possibly at the launch of the third-generation flagship XC90.

Last year, both companies started joint development of advanced systems and software for self-driving cars.

“A successful launch of autonomous drive will require an enormous amount of computing power as well as constant advances in artificial intelligence,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars. “Our agreement with NVIDIA is an important piece of that puzzle and helps us to safely introduce fully autonomous Volvo cars to our customers.”

“As a world-leader in safety technology and innovation, Volvo understands there is a direct connection between safety, comfort, and the computing capability inside the vehicle,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA.

Autonomous levels

As a reminder, level 4 cars can drive themselves but they still have pedals and a steering wheel so the driver can take control when needed. Level 5 cars don’t require any driver intervention and as such are not equipped with a steering wheel or pedals. Today, Volvo already offers level 2 capability, implying the vehicle is equipped with semi-autonomous driver assistance systems that can steer and brake the car as long as the driver remains in full control.

Earlier, Volvo has stated it will not offer level 3 capable cars because the driver in such cars needs to be prepared to take over control of his vehicle within a matter of seconds, which Volvo considers unsafe.

Image: unsupervised driving in an autonomous Volvo (source: Volvo Cars)

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck