The company is expecting deliveries between 2019 and 2021 with the goal to form a massive autonomous vehicle fleet. This is the first of many similar deals in the years to come, as self-driving autonomous fleets are the future of Uber, Lyft and the like.
The deal could be worth around $1,4 billion, according to the Financial Times, which obviously did some math based on the fact that the XC90 starts at $46,900. We are sure that the self-driving component adds cost too.
Uber is already testing the XC90 in Arizona, San Francisco and Pittsburgh and last time we checked these cars were based on the Nvidia Drive PX 2 announced in late August 2016. Nvidia did say that Volvo XC90 fleet’s own Drive Me autonomous program operates autonomously on roads around Gothenburg, the carmaker's hometown, and semi-autonomously elsewhere. This has been happening since early 2016, based on a "learning by doing" concept.
Uber bets on autonomous future
Rob Csongor, vice president and general manager of Automotive at Nvidia said: "Volvo's Drive Me project is the ideal application of our DRIVE PX 2 engine and deep learning. "We are bringing years of work by thousands of Nvidia engineers to help Volvo achieve its safety goals and move self-driving cars from Gothenburg to the rest of the globe."
The Nvidia Drive PX 2 is based on 256-core Pascal GPU and Denver 2.0 CPUs and combined they can deliver up to 1.5 teraflops of performance.
Built around Nvidia’s highest performing and most power-efficient Pascal GPU architecture and the next generation of Nvidia’s Denver CPU architecture, Parker delivers up to 1.5 teraflops of performance.
Nvidia is the clear choice
Nvidia also announced a new system, codenamed Pegasus, that extends the Nvidia DRIVE PX AI computing platform to handle Level 5 driverless vehicles. This is the end result hail/riding taxi companies including Uber needs. There is no announcement about the hardware in the Volvo car, but we are quite sure it is Nvidia inside.
There are much more powerful solutions from Nvidia for self-driving including Drive PX Xavier with 30 TOPS - Integer Operations (INT8) and the king of the hill announced a few weeks ago in Munich - the DRIVE PX Pegasus. Pegasus is the real deal as it can provide 320 TOPS Integer Operations (INT8) operations and comes with 2x Xavier SoCs and two Post Volta GPUs. This adds up to sixteen Nvidia custom ARM cores with two Xavier Volta GPU and two discrete Post Volta GPUs, all devoted to self-driving.
Nvidia Drive PX Pegasus is the real Level 5 self-driving solution that will enable completely autonomous driving, and this is exactly what Uber needs, the sooner the better.