Tech Giants Taking Over the Car World: Nvidia and Foxconn Join Forces in Major Partnership

Nvidia says its platform can power Level 5 self-driving cars 10 photos
Photo: Nvidia
We’ve known for a while that tech giants are planning to expand into the automotive industry, and while the entire world is waiting for the ambitious Apple Car, other companies are going for a different approach.
Nvidia, for example, best known for its GeForce lineup of graphics cars, has joined forces with Foxconn for a deal that could eventually have a pretty big impact on the automotive business.

The two will work together on building smarter self-driving vehicles, with the short-term objective currently aimed at improving the automated systems available in the electric cars supposed to launch in the coming years.

In charge of all these smart capabilities will be Nvidia’s Drive Orin processors, with Foxconn expected to install the hardware, as well as the sensors known as Drive Hyperion, on at least some of the electric vehicles that it’s going to manufacture.

Often referred to as the iPhone manufacturer, Foxconn is rapidly expanding in the auto sector as well. The company has already joined forces with a series of traditional carmakers for the production of several electric vehicles, including Fisker models. Furthermore, Foxconn also plans to launch its very own brand, known as Foxtron.

The Nvidia silicon is therefore expected to make its way to at least some of these models that will be assembled by Foxconn, especially as the next-generation cars are designed from the very beginning with smarter capabilities in mind.

Nvidia’s Drive Orin system-of-a-chip is supposed to provide the necessary hardware foundation for self-driving cars, being able to power not only autonomous driving, but also a series of in-cabin systems and driver monitoring.

Drive Hyperion, which is the company’s first platform for autonomous vehicles, packs AI-powered sensors, including nine radars and an army of cameras supposed to allow instant data collection that would then be processed by the Drive Orin SoC faster than you’d ever imagine. Nvidia’s own specifications claim the chip is capable of running 254 TOPS (trillion operations per second), and this is the reason it’s compatible not only with Level 2+ systems, but also with Level 5 fully autonomous vehicles.

At this point, the car models that would benefit from the partnership between Foxconn and Nvidia are still unknown, but on the other hand, there’s no doubt this is a historical moment for the expansion of the tech industry in the automotive world.

Without a doubt, this collaboration is going to attract similar moves from other tech behemoths, so expect such news in the coming months. In the meantime, the only technology companies that seem to be interested in developing a fully featured car continue to be Apple and Xiaomi (and probably Huawei as well, though the company seems more inclined to work with Chinese carmakers rather than build a car from scratch).
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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