Nvidia has announced a new partnership with the German car maker Daimler AG and auto-parts giant Bosch with the aim of testing a robot taxi project in less than a year.
Under the new partnership, Daimler and Bosch will use Nvidia's Pegasus AI chipset to power a fleet of Level 4 and Level 5 taxis early next decade. This could be a big step forward for autonomous vehicles as Level 5 autonomy means that these cars can drive completely independently without the need for a driver to be at the wheel.
Daimler and Bosch plan to begin testing the vehicles in Silicon Valley and Stuttgart at the beginning of the year. By the second half of 2019 though, the companies will offer an automated shuttle service on select routes in a city located in the San Francisco Bay.
Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed by any of three companies and it is still unclear as to who will operate the fleets of robot taxis. Nvidia, Daimler and Bosch could establish their own service or even sell or lease the vehicles to other ride-sharing companies such as Lyft or Uber.
Senior Research Director for Artificial Intelligence at IHS Markit, Luca De Ambroggi explained in a blog post how Nvidia's driverless technology is the final piece in realizing automaker's dreams of truly autonomous vehicles, saying:
“The partnership with Bosch and Daimler illustrates that the NVIDIA DRIVE Pegasus architecture solves the critical needs of automakers as they tackle the challenge of automated driving. The combination of NVIDIA’s AI silicon, software, integrated platforms, and tools for simulation and validation adds value for AV development.”
We will likely hear more once the companies begin testing their driverless cars early next year.
Image Credit: Nvidia