Daily Management Review

Volvo Strikes Partnership With Nvidia To Develop Self-Driving AI Technology


Volvo Strikes Partnership With Nvidia To Develop Self-Driving AI Technology
Sweden based auto manufacturing company AB Volvo – known for its high performance trucks, has partnered up with Nvidia to jointly develop technologies based on artificial intelligence that would be put to use for development of self driving vars. Last year, a prospective partnership between Nvidia and Tesla fell through which had prevented the US chipmaker from making inroads into the world of self driving auto market.
The partnership between the two companies would be for the long term which is expected to last for several years, announced Nvidia and Volvo – which is the second largest maker of trucks after Daimler. The partnership would begin work with immediate effect in Gothenburg, Sweden and Santa Clara, California.
The partnership between the companies aims to create a flexible, scalable self-driving system, and the companies want to use the technology thus developed initially in pilot projects before implementing its commercially, said Volvo, which last year already unveiled a prototype of its first autonomous truck.
"The resulting system is designed to safely handle fully autonomous driving on public roads and highways," Volvo said in a statement.
Rapid expansion onto the automotive industry has been a focus for Nvidia which is better known for its powerful gaming graphics chips. Experts believe that the trucking industry – that has regular routes for trucks, would be much easier to automate compared to the car industry which has to navigate navigating traffic. It could also be the leader in the global self driving automated vehicle industry. There is strong demand for automated trucking systems and technology in the United States in particular, where the industry has been facing a challenge of higher freight charges because of a shortage of truck drivers.
Nvidia dominates the fast-growing AI chip market along with its US rival Intel.
Nvidia has earlier announced partnerships on technology with other auto companies which include names such as Volkswagen, Mercedez-Benz and Toyota and the chip maker has said that its latest partnership has it thrilled.
"The latest breakthroughs in AI and robotics bring a new level of intelligence and automation to address the transportation challenges we face," said Nvidia Chief Executive Jensen Huang.
In a first step toward operations on public roads, in partnership with logistics firm DFDS, "Vera" - the self-driving truck of Volvo, would start transportation of goods from a logistics center to a port terminal in Gothenburg, the company said last week.
The machine learning used to refine self-driving car software algorithms inside data centers often power by Nvidia's so-called Drive Constellation chips. The company has also been working to build its Drive chips into cars.
In its most recent fiscal year, $641 million of Nvidia's $11.7 billion in revenue was accounted for by its automotive chips business.
Till last year, a major customer for the Nvidia's automotive chips was the US electric car maker Tesla. That partnership was broken last year after the announcement by Tesla CEO Elon Musk that the company would be developing chips on its own.