Daimler, Bosch and Nvidia collaborate on Silicon Valley AV pilot

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The second half of 2019 will see the launch of an AV pilot in a major city in the Silicon Valley where Bosch and Daimler will test fully automated (Level 4 and 5) shuttle vehicles on selected routes. Nvidia will supply the artificial intelligence platform as part of their control unit network.

Daimler Mobility Services is envisaged as the operator of this test fleet and the app-based mobility service. The pilot project will evaluate how mobility services such as carsharing (car2go), ridehailing (MyTaxi) and multi-modal platforms (Moovel) can be intelligently connected to shape the future of mobility.

Daimler is tasked with integrating the drive system into the car. It’s therefore providing the development vehicles, test facilities and in a later stage, the vehicles for the test fleet. Bosch is responsible for the components (sensors, actuators and control units) specified during the development work.

Nvidia will provide its Drive Pegasus AV hardware platform along with system software that will process the algorithms generated by Bosch and Daimler using machine-learning methods. Drive Pegasus is a compact computer designed specifically for AVs and is capable of 320TOPS (trillions of operations per second) to handle the diverse and redundant algorithms AVs require.

Pegasus uses two Nvidia Xavier SoCs and two next-generation Nvidia GPUs designed for AI and vision processing. This co-designed hardware and software platform is created to achieve ASIL-D ISO 26262, the industry’s highest level of automotive functional safety; even when a fault is detected, the system will still operate.

“The decisive factor is to introduce a safe, dependable and mature system,” said Dr Michael Hafner, head of automated driving at Daimler. “Safety has the highest priority and is the constant theme of all aspects and development stages on our way to the start of series production. If in doubt, thoroughness comes before speed.”

“Developing automated driving to a level ready for series production is like a decathlon”, according to Dr Stephan Hönle, senior vice president – business unit, automated driving at Bosch.

“It’s not enough to be good in one or two areas. Like us, you have to master all disciplines. Only then will we succeed in bringing automated driving to the roads and the city safely.”

“The partnership with Bosch and Daimler illustrates that the Nvidia Drive Pegasus architecture solves the critical needs of auto makers as they tackle the challenge of automated driving,” said IHS Markit’s Luca De Ambroggi. “The combination of Nvidia’s AI silicon, software, integrated platforms, and tools for simulation and validation adds value for AV development.”

By Illya Verpraet

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