Nvidia Extends Chinese Business with Xpeng AV Deal

Gaming and AI computing company Nvidia is extending its reach into China by signing a strategic partnership agreement with EV carmaker Xpeng Motors.

The deal, with Nvidia’s China partner Desay SV, is to jointly develop Level 3 autonomous driving technology tailored for the driving environment in China.

Powered by Xavier, Xpeng will self-develop the software for China’s specific traffic conditions and user scenarios and will work with Desay SV to develop the computing hardware platform for autonomous driving.

The company plans to implement in various phases the intelligent driving features in its new models starting in 2020. These features include parking pilot, traffic jam pilot, fully auto lane change and highway pilot, best route navigation and personalization.

In addition to partnering in hardware development, the three companies will also work extensively on data collection and benchmarking, software development and cloud-based machine learning.

Xavier is the latest AI supercomputing system-on-chip (SoC) released by Nvidia in early 2018. It is the world’s first autonomous driving processor and claims to be the most complex system-on-chip (SoC) ever created.

Rishi Dhall, Nvidia’s vice-president of automotive business development, said: “Xpeng Motors is leading the way in China with the production of next-generation EVs that also will need autonomous driving capabilities. Xpeng Motors’ selection of Nvidia DRIVE as their AV platform gives them the performance and scalability necessary to bring safe, self-driving systems to the market in China.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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