Chinese firms lead Nvidia’s partnerships with major AV and EV makers

Some of China’s leading electric vehicle makers and self-driving technology companies are now working with IT vendor Nvidia to develop their next-generation products.

Nvidia unveiled a series of new partnerships at its annual technology conference, known as GTC, on Tuesday, none more significant than working with Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD, which already has more than 780,000 vehicles in service.

BYD, which counts US billionaire Warren Buffett among its key investors, said it will build its next-generation fleets on Nvidia’s Drive Hyperion architecture and sensor suite for autonomous systems. The company will build future electric vehicles with the eighth iteration of Hyperion starting in 2023, improving both driving and parking functionality.

Collectively, Nvidia said it now has $11 billion in automotive technology contracts signed for production over the next six years.

“It’s the right technology at the right time,” said Danny Shapiro, vice president of automotive at Nvidia. “It’s a combination of the hardware built into the cars, the massive amount of computation available, and the openness of the system that allows all these types of companies, from Mercedes-Benz to Zoox, the flexibility of so many different applications.”

Other newcomers: Bay Area-based Lucid Motors said it’s using Nvidia’s Drive platform to underpin its DreamDrive Pro driver assistance system, which can add new features through upgrades. live update.

Additionally, Chinese robotaxi companies WeRide and DeepRoute, self-driving startup Pegasus Technology, and electric skateboard chassis supplier UPower have all said they will use Drive Hyperion.

The ninth iteration of Hyperion is expected to arrive in 2026, Nvidia said. Hyperion is powered by the company’s Orin system-on-chip, which is currently in production.

Nvidia says Orin is capable of 254 trillion operations per second and will be used by at least 25 automakers, a group that includes Chinese electric vehicle makers Nio and XPeng, among others. Colorado-based automated truck yard operations company Outrider will also use Hyperion.

The rollout of new ties follows Nvidia and Jaguar Land Rover detailing a partnership on software, automation and artificial intelligence features last month.

“Electric vehicles have forced a complete overhaul of vehicle electronic architectures, migrating from fixed functions to highly centralized computing,” Shapiro said. “This change is what enables all of these software-defined vehicles.”

Separately on Tuesday, Nvidia showed off its Drive Map, a multimodal mapping engine designed to accelerate the development of Tier 3 and 4 automated vehicles.

The company intends to survey 500,000 kilometers (310,000 miles) across North America, Europe and Asia and create Earth-scale digital twins with centimeter-level precision. ‘by 2024. Maps have independent layers for radar, lidar and camera inputs. Much of the new technology stems from Nvidia’s acquisition of DeepMap last August.

Shapiro says Drive Map and Hyperion are two other products that allow automakers to think of Nvidia not just as a supplier, but as a collaborator across the car’s hardware and software ecosystem.

“It’s not transactional in that sense, ‘I’m buying a chip,'” he said. “It’s, ‘I’m here for the long haul and this whole development process.’ And what we offer with the simulation side and the software testing in the loop, and the hardware testing in the loop, is a huge advantage.”

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