In a fairly surprising turn of events, Chinese search engine giant Baidu and NVIDIA announced a partnership that will see both companies working together to develop an artificial intelligent platform for self-driving cars.
NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang made the announcement today during the Baidu World Conference, noting that the companies will unit to merge their individual technical capabilities to crate a new self-driving car architecture from scratch: “end-to-end, top-to-bottom, from the cloud to the car,” as Huang explained.
Baidu will use the platform created in tandem with NVIDIA to roll out self-driving taxis in China. Though that’s the primary purpose for the partnership, the software’s applications are numerous, as both Baidu and NVIDIA are working to make it open for other automotive creators to fit with their own plans for self-driving vehicles.
NVIDIA already has its own ideas for autonomous cars, with the Drive PX supercomputer for processing data that’s inbound from various sensors, a cloud-based 3D map, and an AI operating system. It’s called Drive PX 2, and Volvo is already testing it with a set of self-driving vehicles.
Baidu has been hard at work with its own self-driving car deployment, and it plans on having a self-driving shuttle roaming the roads by the end of 2018, so this partnership with NVIDIA should have it well on its way.
The company is looking to go into mass production with autonomous cars in five years.