Volvo and Nvidia have partnered since 2016. But now the Swedish manufacturer, following Mercedes and Hyundai-KIA, announced an expansion of the partnership to get a system on the Nvidia Drive AGX Orin chip. Its performance of 254 TOPS (Trillions of Operations Per Second) is required for the AI and Highway Pilot in the upcoming SPA2 architecture, which the “third” XC90 will test in 2022.
This scheme can hardly be considered a teaser for the next Volvo XC90 or SPA2 platform. The Swedes show that autopilot, power management and driver assistance systems require two separate computers with an Nvidia Drive “chip”: Xavier at the front, AGX Orin at the back.
Although Nvidia says the Drive AGX Orin system, which includes 17 billion transistors, scales from the second to the fifth autopilot level, the firm itself calculated that it requires 2,000 TOPS computing power to fully “self-govern”.
Cooperation with Volvo is just a drop in the ocean. In 2022, the Nvidia Drive platform in one form or another will receive electric cars of at least eight brands: Nio, Roewe, Xpeng, LI Auto, Zhiji / IM, Canoo, Faraday Future, VinFast. Robotaxis from Cruise, Zoox, DiDi, Oxbotica, Pony.ai, AutoX are added to the list.
Financial terms for “closer cooperation” have not yet been agreed. Nonetheless, Volvo’s CTO Henrik Green says the Nvidia Drive AGX Orin will “take safety to the next level.” This will be facilitated by redundant steering and braking systems, advanced sensors (such as Luminar’s lidar) and over-the-air software developed by the Zenseact subsidiary.