Tesla has fired Mobile Eye, the company which enabled self driving for the Tesla Model S and X and it looks like that this partnership is over. It happened after a fatal crash with Tesla S but it looks like that this divorce was long premeditated.
Mobile Eye highway autopilot is not exclusive to Tesla, but Tesla invested a lot of money to make the Mobile Eye system a bit better. Big names including BMW and many others are using the Mobile Eye system that relies on two cameras to do highway self driving. Believe us, what you get with Nvidia Drive PX2 is much better that that, as it supports up to twelve cameras and has incredible computational power.
The rumor in the IT/Automotive industry is that Mobile Eye demanded that Tesla stop its self driving project.
The mouse that spooked the elephant could well be the fact that Elon Musk hired Jill Keller, chief architect of the AMD Zen chip. This gave Mobile Eye the idea that in the long term, Tesla might become more independent.
The Tesla model 3 already attracted 400,000 pre-orders and it looks like that every single one will have an Nvidia Drive PX2 chip. This reminded us of the fact told by Nvidia automotive executive at GTC Amsterdam when he informed Fudzilla that every Drive PX system is completely compatible with Nvidia project Xavier.
What is now in two separate chips, Xavier will unite the horsepower into one and will start sampling in Q4 2017 and ship in 2018. Project Xavier is a 16 nm FinFET SoC with an 8 core custom ARM64 CPU and the next generation 512 Core Volta GPU. Nvidia hinted before that Volta would stick to 16nm manufacturing and most importantly that the performance of the Xavier might be as high as you get today from Drive PX2.
The TDP will start as low as 20W, while a full blown Drive PX2 definitely needs much more than that, but again, this is not a big problem in a car that is really one big battery.
Drive PX2 is in full production and Volvo will be the first manufacturer to ship the commercial car in 2017. The great news for Nvidia's automotive division is that every Tesla including all new Model S and Model X will get the Drive PX 2 and once available will get the Xavier to take care of the ADAS assisted driving/self driving.
In case you've been asleep for the last few years, there is a clear trend that cars use SoC for displays, navigation and assisted driving and this is going to increase in the future. The fact that Qualcomm just acquired NPX for $47 billion dollars to step up its changes in automotive and IoT speaks for itself.
As for Nvidia getting a Tesla deal, this was long in the offing, as Nvidia currently had the best option available and is ready for deployment.