Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and chipmaker Nvidia are set to launch three autonomous vehicle hubs in Europe. The move is part of a long-term partnership agreed by the companies last year, which reflects the close relationships many automakers are building with the tech sector.
The trio of self-driving car centres will be located in Munich, Bologna and Madrid, JLR announced this morning. The company will recruit 100 engineers to staff the hubs, and says it chose the locations because they offer access to top talent.
JLR already runs six global tech hubs, and new additions will focus “on developing driver assistance systems and artificial intelligence for self-driving cars of the future”.
Why Jaguar Land Rover partnered with Nvidia
The two companies announced what was described as a “multi-year strategic partnership” last year. From 2025, all new JLR vehicles will be built on Nvidia’s Drive automotive software platform, which is able to deliver “a wide spectrum of active safety, automated driving and parking systems as well as driver assistance systems”, a joint statement said.
Nvidia Drive will also allow motorists to access artificial intelligence features, including driver and occupant monitoring as well as advanced visualisation of the vehicle’s environment.
“Collaboration and knowledge-sharing with industry leader Nvidia is essential to realising our ‘Reimagine’ strategy, setting new benchmarks in quality, technology and sustainability,” said JLR CEO Thierry Bolloré at the time.
“Jaguar Land Rover will become the creator of the world’s most desirable luxury vehicles and services for the most discerning customers. Our long-term strategic partnership with NVIDIA will unlock a world of potential for our future vehicles as the business continues its transformation into a truly global, digital powerhouse.”
Next-generation cars will transform automotive into one of the largest and most advanced technology industries,” said Nvidia CEO and founder Jensen Huang when the deal was announced. “Fleets of software-defined, programmable cars will offer new functionalities and services for the life of the vehicles. We are thrilled to partner with Jaguar Land Rover to reimagine the future of transportation and create the most advanced cars.”
Automakers and tech companies need each other
For Nvidia, establishing close ties with a high-profile automaker like JLR is key for the growth of its Drive platform, which is competing against similar platforms from other Big Tech companies such as Google’s Android Automotive and Apple CarPlay.
The opportunity for tech companies in this space is growing rapidly. The automotive software market was worth $31bn in 2019, but is expected to grow to $462bn by 2030, according to research from McKinsey. This growth will be driven by the adoption of electric vehicles and the growing popularity of new ownership models for vehicles, McKinsey predicts.
Automakers like JLR are also looking to other areas of tech to boost their vehicles, with many forming partnerships with quantum computing companies as they look to explore the potential of quantum processing to carry out advanced simulations and modelling of new components and materials.