Nvidia expands further into self-driving market with AB Volvo truck deal

Nvidia’s graphic chip will be powering the machine learning algorithms that will enable Volvo’s self-driving trucks to navigate from production facility to warehouse.

In a significant development, Sweden’s AB Volvo stated, it will collaborate with Nvidia to develop artificial intelligence used in self-driving trucks.

The agreement marks a long-term strategic partnership which spans several years. Following the agreement, work on the collaboration will commence immediately in Gothenburg, Sweden and Santa Clara, California.

Volvo, which demonstrated its first autonomous truck in 2018, stated the partnership would develop a flexible, scalable self-driving system, which is planned to be used first in pilot schemes before commercial deployment.

“The resulting system is designed to safely handle fully autonomous driving on public roads and highways,” said Volvo in a statement.

Nvidia, known for its powerful gaming graphics chips, has been aggressively expanding into the automotive industry. Trucks, with their regular routes are said to be easier to automate than cars.

The demand for automated trucks is high in the United States with the country facing a shortage of drivers, which has pushed up freight costs.

Along with Intel, Nvidia is dominating the fast-growing AI chip market.

“The latest breakthroughs in AI and robotics bring a new level of intelligence and automation to address the transportation challenges we face,” said Nvidia ‘sChief Executive Jensen Huang.

Last eek, Volvo had said its self-driving truck, “Vera”, would begin transporting goods from a logistics center to a port terminal in Gothenburg in collaboration with logistics firm DFDS.

Nvidia’s Drive Constellation chips power the machine learning algorithms that self-driving car software use in data centers; Nvidia has also been working to build its Drive chips into cars.

In Nvidia’s most recent fiscal year, automotive chips have accounted for $641 million out of Nvidia’s $11.7 billion revenue.

In 2018, although Tesla was Nvidia’s major customer for automotive chips but the carmaker said it was developing its own chip.

AB Volvo’s and Nvidia’s collaboration will be built on Nvidia’s full software package for sensor processing, perception, map localization and path planning.



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