Six months after teaming up to develop artificial-intelligence-powered autonomous vehicles, Nvidia and Volkswagen have entered a new joint initiative to apply machine-learning technology to much broader challenges.
VW said it will work with Nvidia to develop machine learning techniques to improve its corporate business functions. The German automaker cited applications including data analysis, human-robot collaboration and improving the efficiency of data centers. VW also said it wants to develop procedures to optimize traffic flows in cities.
“Artificial intelligence is the key to the digital future of the Volkswagen Group,” said Dr. Martin Hofmann, chief information officer at Volkswagen, in press-release statement. “We want to develop and deploy high-performance AI systems ourselves. This is why we are expanding our expert knowledge required. Cooperation with NVIDIA will be a major step in this direction.”
VW also announced the establishment of a start-up funding program designed to spur the development of new companies in the areas of machine learning and deep learning for the automotive market. Nvidia and VW will work with five startups in the funding program.
Moreover, the two companies are initiating a “Summer of Code” camp this year, where teams of students will develop deep-learning techniques for robotics applications.
In January, Nvidia and VW subsidiary Audi announced an autonomous car partnership and demonstrated a concept vehicle. The vehicle employed Nvidia’s DRIVE PX 2 platform to navigate the kinds of complexities and obstacles found in real-road driving conditions. The companies demonstrated the vehicle at the Consumer Electronics Show In Las Vegas
DRIVE PX 2 is a scalable platform, with the high-end version utilizing two mobile processors and two discrete Nvidia graphics processing units (GPUs) to generate 24 trillion deep learning operations per second. DRIVE PX combines deep learning, sensor fusion and surround vision. The platform is capable of understanding what’s happening around a vehicle in real time, locating the car on a map and planning a route.
The companies plan to offer an autonomous vehicle by 2020.
Nvidia is quickly establishing itself as a leader in automotive AI and machine-learning technology. Along with VW and Audi, the company has partnered with Toyota and Volvo.
Toyota said it plans to use the Nvidia Drive PX platform as the brains of it future autonomous vehicles. Volvo also will put an Nvidia-based autonomous car on the road by 2021.
Nvidia also offers the MMI navigation system and the virtual cockpit. The virtual cockpit is a 12.3-inch high-resolution display that provides drivers with a full-digital instrument cluster as well as navigation information, the telephone interface and access to entertainment.
Tyler Schulze is vice president, strategy & development at Veritone. He serves as general manager for developer partnerships, cognitive engine ecosystem, and media ingestion for the Veritone platform. Learn more about our platform and join the Veritone developer ecosystem today.