Automotive > Infotainment & Telematics Blog

NVIDIA Pushes ADAS, Android, Autonomous Driving Efforts @ CES 2014

by Roger Lanctot | Jan 06, 2014

NisAfAfter demonstrating phenomenal lag-free video/computer game performance across intercontinental connections at its pre-CES press conference, NVIDIA announced plans to bring its Tegra K1 to the automotive market with a focus on advanced driver assist systems and semi-autonomous driving applications.  NVIDIA also showed how the graphics processor can be handy for industrial designers rendering images of vehicles early on in design and also showed customizale ICs with the focus on making it easy for designers to tinker with materials rendering.

NVIDIA touted its existing relationships with Audi, BMW, Tesla and Volkswagen and described the Tegra K1 as "the first mobile processor to bring advanced computational capabilities to the car."  The Tegra K1 features a quad-core CPU and a 192-core GPU using the NVIDIA Kepler architecture.

NVIDIA expects the Tegra K1 to ddrive camera-based ADAS systems - such as pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and street sign recognition - and can also monitor driver alertness via a dashboard-mounted camear - an application which will be critical to SDC applications.

NVIDIA is engaged in a competitive struggle with Renesas and Intel to bring higher processing power into cars.  NVIDIA has been a leader in seeking to aggregate in-vehicle functionality encompassing safety, infotainment, HMI and digital ashboards onto a single processor.

NVIDIA has furthered these efforts by participating in Google's announced plans for a so-called OPen Automotive Alliance to define the protocols for the implementation of Andoroid in automobiles.  The OAA currently includes Hyundai, Audi, GM and Honda, according to industry reports.  Other car makers implementing Android, most notably Nissan, Renault, Daimler and Volvo, have so-far resisted Google's OAA power play.

NVIDIA is uniquely positioned to help mitigate car makers' concerns regarding Android's processing, memory and power consumption challenges in cars.  Targeting safety applications for Tegra, in particular, puts NVIDIA more directly into the mainstream of mission critical on-board systems in cars.

As a further note, NVIDIA says Tegra K1 provides an open, scalable platform that is fully programmable, so it can be enhanced via over-the-air software updates that support new functionalities as they become available from automakers.  The Tegra K1 is part of the VCM module program which includes OS support for QNX, Android, Linux or Widnows, the company said.  NVIDIA claims 4.5M cars on the road currently using NVIDIA technology.

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