Continental and Nvidia are working on AI self-driving vehicle systems based on the Nvidia Drive platform. The partners say their cooperation will lead to the production of AI systems that scale from automated Level 2 features through to Level 5 self-driving capabilities. They plan to introduce Level 3 features in 2021.
Dedicated engineering teams from each company will work together to develop self-driving solutions based on the Nvidia Drive platform, which includes the Nvidia Drive Xavier system-on-a-chip, as well as the Nvidia Drive OS and Drive AV software stacks. The solutions will utilise Continental’s experience in system and software engineering for ASIL D-rated safety and integrate a range of Continental sensors technologies, including radar, camera and high-resolution 3D lidar.
“The vehicle of the future will be a sensing, planning and acting computer on wheels,” said Dr Elmar Degenhart, CEO at Continental. “The complexity of autonomous driving requires nothing less than the full computational horsepower of an AI supercomputer. Together with the performance and flexibility of Nvidia’s AI self-driving solution, from the cloud to the car we will achieve new levels of safety, comfort and personalisation for future vehicles.”
“We now have all the key elements in place to take AI self-driving cars from development to mass production,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of Nvidia. “Our newly arrived Drive Xavier processor, extensive Nvidia Drive software and cloud-to-car approach for testing, validation and functional safety, combined with Continental’s expertise and global reach, will bring autonomous cars to the world.”
As the brain of the Continental system, Nvidia Drive Xavier can deliver 30 trillion operations per second (TOPS) for deep learning, while consuming 30W of energy. This performance is necessary to handle the massive amount of data processing that self-driving vehicles must perform. These include running deep neural nets to sense surroundings, understanding the environment, localising the vehicle on an HD map, predicting the behaviour and position of other objects, as well as computing vehicle dynamics and a safe path forward.
Continental and Nvidia will initially develop highly automated driving features, including 360° perception and automatic lane changing on highways, plus the ability to merge in traffic. In addition, the system will integrate HD maps, enabling the vehicle to localise themselves and provide mapping updates.