Toyota Takes Self-Driving Seriously, Strikes Technical Partnership with NVIDIA

If you're a gamer or you've ever assembled a PC yourself, you'll probably be very familiar with the NVIDIA name. They were the Intel of graphic cards, so to say - they made the products everybody wanted.
Toyota's self-driving test car 4 photos
Photo: Toyota
Toyota Research Institute - Advanced Safety Research Vehicle - Platform 2.0Toyota Research Institute - Advanced Safety Research Vehicle - Platform 2.0Toyota Research Institute - Advanced Safety Research Vehicle - Platform 2.0
It's been a while since the company realized it could do more than that, so it started building more and more powerful chips, to the point where it's become the supplier of choice for several carmakers that are pursuing the development of autonomous technology.

Even though not entirely absent, Toyota has been pretty quiet on this front for a manufacturer of its size, but has now announced it would start using NVIDIA's Drive PX platform developed by the IT company specifically for this purpose.

“Toyota has worked on autonomous driving technologies for over 20 years with the aim of reducing traffic fatalities to zero as an ultimate goal, achieving smoother traffic, and providing mobility for all," said Ken Koibuchi, Toyota's executive general manager in a press release. "Through this collaboration, we intend to accelerate the development of autonomous driving systems that are even more safe and capable.”

NVIDIA's tech is already used by carmakers such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla Motors or Volvo, so this partnership puts Toyota on a pretty prestigious list. Engineers from both parties are already working on matching the new hardware with the existing sensors and software on Toyota's testing vehicles.

“This is a very significant milestone for us,” said Danny Shapiro, head of automotive at Nvidia, quoted by Automotive News “Toyota is one of the largest automakers in the world,” he concluded, apparently oblivious to the fact the Japanese conglomerate is actually THE largest car manufacturer in the world.

This announcement comes moments after Toyota President, Akio Toyoda presented the company's latest earnings numbers and declared he felt a "sense of crisis." Toyota ended the year on a downturn, and initial signs for 2017 - as well as specialists' forecast - suggest the losses will continue for the second year in a row.

The president questioned the attention to customer feedback and the ability of the company's products to fulfill their expectations. To address that, Toyota has no chance but accelerate its self-driving program, so when the first systems hit the streets on production models (probably around 2020), it will be ready. Teaming up with NVIDIA sounds like a sound step toward that goal.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
press release
About the author: Vlad Mitrache
Vlad Mitrache profile photo

"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories