Nvidia’s already going deeper down the self-driving vehicle rabbit hole in partnership with Bosch, but it’s also moving further into autonomous trucking with a new partnership with PACCAR, one of the world’s largest makers of transport trucks.
The PACCAR arrangement has already resulted in the production of one proof-of-concept vehicle, a Level 4 autonomous truck that uses Nvidia’s Drive PX 2 platform with neural network training fed by data of humans driving semis-tractors. The partnership’s announcement included a showcase of this initial vehicle managing a closed road course, with no one behind the wheel.
PACCAR is an industry leader that already produces many of the trucks that make up global logistics fleets, but other startups including Uber-owned Otto and Embark are also racing to address this market. There’s a lot of interest in pushing autonomous driving tech forward in this industry because it has tremendous cost-saving potential in terms of increasing the amount of time trucks can spend on the road, and reducing fatalities related to human-caused accidents.
In aggregate, all of the deals Nvidia is securing to provide the computing horsepower needed to make autonomous vehicles a reality represent a significant strengthening of its long-term position, as demand for self-driving is likely to only grow over the next couple of decades at least.