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Nvidia to partner with Volvo on self-driving trucks

The Volvo Group and Nvidia have announced a joint partnership to develop artificial intelligence (AI) for self-driving trucks.

Work will begin immediately in Gothenburg, Sweden and Santa Clara, California.

The announcement comes a week after Volvo, the world’s second-largest truck maker after Daimler, said its self-driving truck “Vera” would begin transporting goods from a logistics center to a port terminal in Gothenburg in collaboration with logistics firm DFDS.

Nvidia, along with Intel, dominates the AI chip market. The partnership with Volvo will focus on the development of a flexible, scalable autonomous driving system, which is planned to be used first in commercial pilots and later in commercial offerings from the Volvo Group.

“Automation creates real-life benefits for both our customers and the society in terms of safety, energy efficiency, and as a consequence, productivity. We continue to gradually introduce automated applications in the entire spectrum of automation, from driver support systems to fully autonomous vehicles and machines. This partnership with Nvidia is an important next step on that journey,” said Martin Lundstedt, president and CEO of the Volvo Group, in a statement.

The collaboration will be built on Nvidia’s full software stack for sensor processing, perception, map localization and path planning, enabling a wide range of possible autonomous driving applications, such as freight transport, refuse and recycling collection, public transport, construction, mining, forestry and more.

“Trucking is the world’s largest network – a network that through online shopping puts practically anything, anywhere in the world, quickly within our reach,” says Jensen Huang, Nvidia founder and CEO. “The latest breakthroughs in AI and robotics bring a new level of intelligence and automation to address the transportation challenges we face. We are thrilled to partner with Volvo Group to reinvent the future of trucking.”

The strategic partnership covers end-to-end computing fundamental to autonomous vehicles. It includes accelerated computing technology in the datacenter for training deep neural networks; large-scale simulation for hardware-in-the-loop testing and validation of autonomous vehicle systems; and finally deployment of the NVIDIA DRIVE platform in the vehicle running the full software stack for 360-degree sensor processing, mapping and path planning.

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Linda Baker, Staff Writer

Linda Baker is a FreightWaves staff reporter based in Portland, Oregon. Her beat includes early-stage VC, freight-tech, mobility and West Coast emissions regulations.

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