Nvidia makes splash at CES 2016 by naming Volvo, owned by China’s Geely, as first customer for autonomous drive computer

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 January, 2016, 12:50pm
UPDATED : Friday, 05 January, 2018, 11:57am

Nvidia Corp. has unveiled a new, lunchbox-size super-computer for self-driving cars and said Volvo Car Group will be the new device’s first customer.

Volvo plans to install the device in 100 cars to be launched in 2017 as part of a large-scale trial of autonomous driving technology in Göteborg, Sweden, a spokesman for the automaker said.

Volvo is owned by China’s Geely Automotive Holdings. The 93-year-old Swedish automaker was purchased in 2010 when the Chinese company was known as Zhejiang Geely.

Nvidia made the announcement at the beginning of the Consumer Electronic Show here.

The new Drive PX 2 has computing power equivalent to 150 MacBook Pro computers, said company CEO Jen-Hsung Huang.

This means it can deliver up to 24 trillion “deep learning” operations - allowing the computer to use artificial intelligence to programme itself to recognise driving situations - per second, he added.

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The Volvo spokesman declined to comment on the value of the contract with Nvidia.

Partnerships between automakers and Silicon Valley companies on self-driving technologies are taking centre stage at this year’s show.

Also on Monday, General Motors announced a US$500 million investment in ride-sharing service Lyft.

Huang didn’t offer revenue projections for Drive PX 2, but automotive is the fastest-growing business segment for Nvidia, whose largest revenue source is video games.