Autonomous Era arrives at CES 2022

CES has long been a showcase for what comes down to the technology pipeline. This year, NVIDIA is showing the radical innovation that is happening now.

During a special virtual speech at the fair, Ali Kani, Vice President and General Manager of Automotive at NVIDIA, described DRIVE Hyperion’s opportunities and the many ways the industry is evolving on the platform. These critical advances demonstrate the maturity of autonomous driving technology as companies begin to implement safer and more efficient transportation.

Development of autonomous vehicle technologies requires a whole new platform architecture and software development process. Both hardware and software must be thoroughly tested and validated to ensure that they can handle the harsh conditions of daily driving with the strict safety and security requirements for automated vehicles.

That’s why NVIDIA has built and launched the DRIVE Hyperion platform, which includes a high-performance computing and sensor architecture that meets the safety requirements of a fully autonomous vehicle. DRIVE Hyperion is designed with redundant NVIDIA DRIVE Orin on-a-chip systems for software-defined vehicles that continuously improve and create a wide range of new software and service-based business models for automakers.

The latest generation platform includes 12 state-of-the-art surround cameras, 12 ultrasound devices, nine radars, three internal sensor cameras and a front-facing lidar. It is designed to be functionally safe, so if a computer or sensor fails, a backup is available to ensure that the AV can drive its passengers to a safe location.

The DRIVE Hyperion architecture has been adopted by hundreds of automakers, truck manufacturers, tier 1 suppliers and robotic taxi companies, heralding the new era of autonomy.

Innovation in scale

Bringing this comprehensive platform architecture to the global automotive ecosystem requires collaboration with leading tier 1 vendors.

Desay, Flex, Quanta, Valeo and ZF are now DRIVE Hyperion 8 platform scaling partners, producing production-ready designs with the highest levels of functional safety and security.

“We’re excited to work with NVIDIA on their DRIVE Hyperion platform,” said Geoffrey Buoquot, CTO and Valeo Vice President of Strategy. “In addition to our latest generation of ultrasonic sensors that deliver digital raw data that their AI classifiers can process, and our 12 cameras, including the new 8-megapixel cameras, we are now also able to provide an Orin-based platform to support autonomous driving applications with consistent performance under car environment conditions and production requirements. “

“Flex is excited to partner with NVIDIA to help accelerate the implementation of autonomous and ADAS systems that leverage the DRIVE Orin platform to design solutions for cross-customer use,” said Mike Thoeny, president of Automotive at Flex.

The breadth and depth of this supplier ecosystem shows how DRIVE Hyperion has become the industry’s most open and used platform architecture. These scaling partners will help enable the platform to start production this year.

New energy for a new era

The radical transformation of the transportation industry extends from computing power to powertrains.

Electric cars are not only better for the environment, they also fundamentally improve the driving experience for consumers. With a quieter and more sustainable profile, electric cars will begin to make up the majority of cars sold over the next few decades.

This development has made room for dozens of new start-ups of energy vehicles. They have rethought the car, starting with a new vehicle architecture based on programmable, software-defined computer. These NEVs will continuously improve over time with wireless updates.

Many leading NEV manufacturers use DRIVE Hyperion as the platform to develop these clean, intelligent models. From the distinguished heritage of Polestar to the breakthrough success IM engines, Li Auto, NIO, R Auto and Xpeng, these companies reinvent the personal transportation experience.

These companies benefit from new, software-driven business models. With a centralized computing architecture, automakers can deliver fresh services and advanced features throughout the life of the vehicle.

Really intelligent logistics

AI not only transforms personal transportation, it also addresses the rapidly growing challenges facing the truck and logistics industry.

Over the past decade, and accelerated by the pandemic, consumer trade has changed dramatically online, resulting in increased demand for truck driving and last-mile delivery. This trend is expected to continue as experts predict that 170 billion parcels will be shipped worldwide this year, rising to 280 billion by 2027.

At the same time, the truck industry has experienced significant driver shortages, with the United States expected to need more than 160,000 drivers by 2028.

TuSimple faces these challenges head on with its scalable Autonomous Freight Network. This network uses autonomous trucks to safely and efficiently move goods across the country. And today, the company announced that these intelligent trucks will be powered by NVIDIA DRIVE Orin.

The advanced SoC will be at the heart of TuSimple’s autonomous domain controller (ADC), which acts as an autonomous truck’s central computing device that handles hundreds of trillions of operations per second, including mission-critical perception, scheduling and activation features.

As a result, TuSimple can accelerate the development of a high-performance, automotive-grade and scalable ADC that can be integrated into production trucks.

All digital assistant

Kani also demonstrated the NVIDIA DRIVE Concierge platform, which delivers smart services that are always on.

DRIVE Concierge combines NVIDIA Omniverse Avatar, DRIVE IX, DRIVE AV 4D perception, Riva GPU-accelerated speech AI SDK and a range of deep neural networks to delight customers on every drive.

Omniverse Avatar combines speech AI, computer vision, natural language comprehension, recommendation engines and simulation. Avatars created on the platform are interactive characters with ray traced 3D graphics that can see, talk, talk about a wide range of topics and understand naturally spoken intentions.

Under the special CES address, a demo showed highlights from a vehicle equipped with the DRIVE Concierge that took the trip to Las Vegas, helping the driver prepare for the trip, plan schedules and, most importantly, relax while the car was safe controlled by the DRIVE driver.

These important developments in intelligent driving technology, as well as innovations from suppliers, car manufacturers and haulage companies, all based on NVIDIA DRIVE, herald the arrival of the autonomous era.

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