China-owned NEVS, the holding company that bought Saab’s assets, and California-based software company AutoX have signed a partnership agreement that will see the two trial electric “robotaxis” in Europe by 2020, they said today.
NEVS’ vehicles don’t use LIDAR laser arrays to help them navigate. Instead they use an array of cheaper cameras that provide a 360 degree view.
The partnership is using Nvidia’s DRIVE AGX Pegasus kit which can operate at 320 deep learning tera operations per second, using two Turing architecture TensorCore GPU’s. Pegasus also contains two Nvidia Xavier system-on-a-chip processors, which individually can deliver a monster 30 trillion operations per second.
The AutoX system processes the vehicles’ urban environment in real time allowing the vehicle to quickly adapt its self to the moving city. This is seen a novel way to reduce the cost of introducing the vehicles to different EU cities as it would not be financially feasible to build and train each fleet of cars time after time for a different city.
Stefan Tilk, CEO of NEVS commented in a release that: “Already at our first meeting in Silicon Valley, we were not only impressed by the performance and maturity of AutoX’s AD stack, but also saw a perfect partner in terms of approaching the market and shared corporate values. AutoX’s vision to empower the world with AI drivers enabling universal access to transportation of people and goods, safely and efficiently, makes them go truly hand in hand with our view on the future we want to create”
AutoX: Level 4 Stack
AutoX’s cars are considered level 4 autonomous vehicles meaning that they can operate at a fully autonomous level without a need for human interaction. The AutoX software runs on Nvidia’s autonomous hardware package DRIVE AGX Pegasus.
The Drive software suit created by NVIDIA also brings new capabilities to the internal systems of a vehicle. Most notably DRIVE IX visualises the sensor date computed by the external sensors into a display that developers and manufactures can view in real-time.
Using five data categories, Sense, Perceive, Map, Plan and Drive the DRIVE IX software outlines the vehicles object detection process by displaying boundary boxes around vehicles, signs and obstacles. A developer can also view the planned route of the vehicle signified by a yellow arrows on their display, while the mapping component gives a clear picture of the vehicles surrounding objects.
Jianxiong Xiao founder and CEO of AutoX commented in a release that: “AutoX enables companies like NEVS to become autonomous by creating an A.I. driver which is tailored to the specific geolocation it is in; adopting local driving styles, while also navigating in urban and dynamic conditions. We are proud to start deploying our technology together with a global OEM that really takes the mobility revolution seriously”