Chinese automaker Chery will be building cars with Level 3 autonomous features powered by supplier ZF’s ProAI platform, which itself uses Nvidia GPUs for its driving intelligence. The partnership was announced at the North American International Auto Show today in Detroit, and follows announcements from CES where Nvidia announced further collaboration with ZF and with Baidu. Baidu is also a key contributor to ZF’s ProAI.
Chery is one of China’s largest automakers, and having it on board as a partner is a way to ensure not only that Level 3 features will indeed make it to market, but also that it should be available at a relatively affordable price point. Chery’s cars typically pack tech into lower-priced vehicles, and based on the press release announcing this news, it sounds like that’s the plan here, too.
Level 3 autonomy is a subject of some debate regarding inclusion in consumer vehicles. Some automakers and critics have expressed concern that Level 3, which still requires a driver to be able to take over manual control of the vehicle. The worry is that it could result in drivers growing too accustomed to the automated features and not being in the proper state of mind to handle driving when required by the system to take over.
There’s still no timeline on when Chery plans to bring these ZF-powered vehicles to market, however, so we can expect there’s work yet to be done ensuring it’s ready and road-safe.