Volvo and NVIDIA Announced Partnership; To Develop Autonomous Commercial Trucks ASAP

Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, shows the Drive Pegasus robotaxi AI computer at his keynote address at CES in Las Vegas
Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, shows the Drive Pegasus robotaxi AI computer at his keynote address at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. January 7, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

Swedish car manufacturer Volvo is joining forces with the NVIDIA technology company, to develop artificial intelligence to be used on autonomous commercial trucks. The project will begin immediately and will aim to launch self-driving trucks for cargo transport, garbage collection, mining areas, and construction in the near future.

The agreement signed and announced this Tuesday, June 18, 2019, aims to reinvent the future of trucking, and both Jensen Huang, founder, and CEO of NVIDIA and Lars Stenqvist, chief technology officer of Volvo Group is excited to see what they can do.

NVIDIA, known for its powerful graphics gaming chips, has been aggressively expanding into the automotive world with its autonomous technology. It was recently rejected by Tesla but had gathered a lot of support from other companies. Volvo, on the other hand, is the world's leading truck and cargo vehicle manufacturers and wants to continue to maintain its leadership in this sector for much longer by betting on autonomous truck solutions.

The companies will start working in Volvo's space in Gothenburg, Sweden, and at NVIDIA's headquarters in Santa Clara, California, immediately. The latest AI and robotic breakthroughs that the companies can discover can bring a new level of intelligence and automation to the transportation challenges we face.

The partnership between Volvo Group and NVIDIA will be long-term and will run for a few years, with a maximum of 9 years. The partnership includes the use of deep neural network training technologies, large-scale simulation, hardware testing, and implementation of the Drive platform in vehicles for sensing, mapping, and road planning.

It is no secret that Volvo has been working on autonomous truck solutions. Volvo Trucks presented its first connected, stand-alone electrical solution created for repetitive tasks in logistics centers, factories, and ports. The Vera is perfect for short distances, carrying large volumes of goods with high precision. They also have another partnership with DFDS, the world's leading ferry operator for non-driver deliveries. However, the vehicles involved in this partnership circulate in a predefined route. This is why, with the new NVIDIA partnership, Volvo intends to offer a 100% autonomous system for any public road.

Stenqvist said that automation is a key technology area for the Volvo Group. With this partnership, Volvo will further increase their development speed and strengthen its long-term assets for the benefit of its customers in different segments and markets,

The partnership aims to develop a flexible and scalable stand-alone system that will be used first in pilot programs before its commercial deployment to handle cargo transport. Cargo transport is just the start objective of the new joint effort. NVIDIA and Volvo will also seek to build autonomous systems and vehicles that can carry out garbage collection and recycling autonomously, operate in the mines as well as in construction or public works, and most importantly forestry industry.

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