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Nvidia & Baidu partner to bring AI to self-driving cars

Baidu boosts NVIDIA's AI technology, paving way for autonomous systems.

By Parisa Qurban

Baidu has announced that it is partnering with NVIDIA in order to develop new ways for artificial intelligence to be used to enhance autonomous driving applications.

In an attempt to focus on developing future autonomous models, NVIDIA has teamed up with Baidu by joining its open platform self-driving car initiative known as Apollo.

The company has selected NVIDIA’S DRIVE PX 2 AI supercomputer as an autonomous self-driving platform it will use when testing and developing AI technology.  It will augment NVIDIA’s technology to be used within autonomous systems.

Badiu’s president and CEO Qi Lu said that his company will work with NVIDIA to enhance deep learning technology, this will allow them to have greater opportunities when manufacturing self-driving systems with Chinese car makers.

In a move to expand AI technology within data centres, Baidu will combine its PaddlePaddle deep learning framework with NVIDIA’S VOLTA GPU’s to produce cognitive intelligent systems, and  develop future AI applications. This includes enhancing features that are useful to autonomous driving such as identifying real-time images, speech, text, and video.

Stockholm data centreThe Apollo program now has over 50 partners joining the alliance supporting the commercialisation of autonomous cars. Recent additions have included major Chinese automakers joining the program such as Changan, Chery Automobile, Faw, and Greatwall Motor.

Baidu’s efforts to integrate autonomous systems within vehicles was demonstrated at its recent AI development conference. This came as U.S autonomous start up AutonomouStuff, presented two cars using self-driving models developed by Baidu’s Apollo open source software. They were able to navigate efficiently on running tracks. Baidu’s next moves include deploying NVIDIA HGX architecture with Telsa Volta V100 models and Telsa P4 GPU accelerators to better train AI systems in data centres.

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Ian Buck, NVIDIA vice president and general manager of accelerated computing said: “NVIDIA and Baidu have pioneered significant advances in deep learning and AI,

“We believe AI is the most powerful technology force of our time, with the potential to revolutionize every industry. Our collaboration aligns our exceptional technical resources to create AI computing platforms for all developers — from academic research, startups creating breakthrough AI applications, and autonomous vehicles.

“Today, we are very excited to announce a comprehensive and deep partnership with NVIDIA,” said Baidu’s Lu at the company’s event. “Baidu and NVIDIA will work together on our Apollo self-driving car platform, using NVIDIA’s automotive technology. We’ll also work closely to make PaddlePaddle the best deep learning framework; advance our conversational AI system, DuerOS; and accelerate research at the Institute of Deep Learning.”

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