The market for advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous vehicles is expected to grow from about $3 billion in 2015 to $96 billion in 2025 and $290 billion in 2035. German electronics manufacturer and tier-one automotive parts supplier Bosch has been focusing on development of self-driving cars for quite a while now. The organization is currently building software and algorithms for autonomous driving.
However, the organization joined the race late, as several automotive companies have already made several developments in the autonomous driving landscape. Uber stands out among the ride hailing firms that are leveraging driverless technology. Moreover, Uber made a deal with Daimler in 2017 to develop self-driving cars. Mercedes Benz is another company to have showcased fully autonomous concept cars at auto shows in recent years.
Bosch is only gearing for urban driving at the moment. They intend to create areas within cities where people can simply hail an autonomous car via a smartphone app. The company promises to build a fully-automated car by the beginning of the next decade.
Bosch partners with Daimler to develop fully autonomous cars
There will be insurmountable amount of competition in the market for autonomous vehicles and driving, as the big guns dive. Bosch has to rapidly innovate in the autonomous driving space in order to stay ahead of the competition curve. Recently, vehicle manufacturer Daimler announced that it is collaborating with Bosch to introduce fully autonomous vehicles to urban roads. The partnership aims at accelerating the production of “robo-taxis”.
Through this partnership, both the firms aim to create shared cars that can operate autonomously within designated areas of a city. The technology would allow the user to call a car via app, ride without a driver, and be dropped off, leaving the driverless car to pick up another customer. This is the next step beyond current car-sharing services.
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The project is aiming for SAE Level 4 and Level 5 autonomy. According to SAE-defined six levels of autonomy, level 4 comprises vehicles with a high enough level of automation to make manual controls redundant, while level 5 includes cars that are not designed to be operated by humans at all. Additionally, the model maximizes the revenue for a company.
Bosch makes use of NVIDIA’s AI Car Computer
As discussed earlier, Bosch is taking significant strides in the AI space. Recently, the organization entered into another partnership with NVIDIA, to help the GPU designer sell its Drive PX 2 driver-assist platform to automakers.
While NVIDIA would be providing the computing hardware and software, Bosch would focus more on developing vehicle sensors. The complete AI computing system could then be offered to automakers. Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO and Founder, NVIDIA comments “Bosch will build automotive-grade systems for the mass production of autonomous cars, using NVIDIA’s DRIVE PX AI car computer.”
Additionally, NVIDIA’s technology uses “deep learning” artificial intelligence. The platform can learn what the appropriate behavior is, even for unexpected situations.
Bosch seems to be making up for the time lost by integrating the most scalable and efficient AI-based software systems for the autonomous cars. Bosch’s current strategy will establish the company as one of the leaders in the autonomous driving space.
Technology that powers Bosch-NVIDIA’s car computer
Driverless cars require unparalleled levels of computing power, due to complexity involved with self-driving. Deep learning is the answer here. It enables us to train a car to drive safely, better than any human could do sitting behind the steering wheel. “We’ve really supercharged our roadmap to autonomous vehicles. We’ve dedicated ourselves to build an end-to-end deep learning solution,” remarks Huang.
This is exactly what Bosch is striving to achieve through leveraging NVIDIA’s technology. NVIDIA’sstands at the centre of AI revolution today. The firm is collaborating with every significant cloud service provider, researchers worldwide, and a wide range of corporates in nearly every sector.
Bosch shall be the first to install the DRIVE PX platform into its driverless cars. The platform will incorporate NVIDIA’s forthcoming Xavier technology, which can process up to 30 trillion deep learning operations a second while drawing just 30 watts of power. NVIDIA will deliver technology enabling Level 3 autonomous capabilities by the end of this year, and Level 4 capabilities by the end of 2018.
Deep learning and Cloud enables Driverless technology
As discussed earlier, deep learning plays a vital role for Bosch’s driverless cars, enabling them to get increasingly smarter based on experience. Essentially, deep learning helps in providing the processing horsepower which helps in making sense of the ocean of data that streams in from a car’s array of sensors, including cameras, radar, LIDAR, and ultrasonics.
NVIDIA DRIVE PX system becomes capable of comprehending everything happening around the car in real time by developing and training a deep neural network in the data center at the beginning. Aspects that come into play for the platform include:
- Detection — It helps to comprehend the world around the vehicle;
- Localization — This is used to create a detailed local map using what’s perceived;
- Occupancy grid — It helps in building a real-time 3D environment around the vehicle;
- Path planning — It allows to determine how to proceed along the mapped route;
- Vehicle dynamics — This aspect assists in calculating how to drive smoothly.
Today, organizations are utilizing the power of GPU in the cloud as well. NVIDIA developed NVIDIA HGX-1 is the new AI supercomputer standard. It has been developed for deep learning in the data center, besides extending use across all major industries. This technology will also play an instrumental role in the functioning of Bosch’s driverless cars.
Even though, Bosch is little late to jump into the autonomous driving landscape, but undoubtedly the organization is doing everything to furnish a good and safe driving experience. We will soon have these autonomous vehicles running plenty on the roads. There is still enough time for Bosch to re-chart its strategy in the autonomous driving sector.
For Bosch’s autonomous project, NVIDIA’s AI co-pilot technology will act as an AI assistant in the vehicle, besides furnishing safety alerts of potential hazards outside the car. The AI co-pilot is powered by deep learning, and can recognize faces to automatically set specific preferences in the car depending on the driver. Besides, the system can also see where the driver is looking, and detect expressions to understand the driver’s state of mind. This is not all, the system also integrates the ability to read lips.
Essentially, the AI system combines all the information collated to warn the driver of unseen potential hazards. “Of course, our goal is to make every single car autonomous someday. Till then, we’ll have AI that will be your co-pilot, will be your guardian, and look out for you,” concludes Huang.