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NVIDIA Promises Progress in Autonomous Vehicles at CES 2018

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The technology sector is in focus this week with the Customer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 set to begin tomorrow and run through this Friday. It is a Las Vegas-based annual technology tradeshow conducted by the Consumer Technology Association in January.

However, even before the biggest tech show of the year officially commences, we saw dozens of tech biggies holding press conferences throughout yesterday. But it was NVIDIA Corporation NVDA which, by displaying its initiatives in driverless vehicles and powering artificial intelligence (AI) technology to build autonomous vehicles, stole the limelight.

It Was All About Autonomous Vehicles

NVIDIA, during yesterday’s late-hour press conference, revealed a number of partnerships in the space. At the event, the company announced two important collaborations — with Uber Technologies Inc. and Volkswagen AG — which show NVIDIA’s growing dominance in providing AI platforms which will power future vehicles.

Uber has been using NVIDIA’s AI computing technology in its fleet of self-driving vehicles. Founder and CEO of NVIDIA, Jensen Huang, stated during the press conference that “the collaboration utilizes NVIDIA technology for Uber Advanced Technologies Group’s fleets of self-driving cars and freight trucks, running AI algorithms that enable vehicles to perceive the world, predict what will happen next and quickly choose the best course of action, even in complex environments.”

Meanwhile, Volkswagen has been working on creating new cockpit experiences and improving safety for its future vehicles by using NVIDIA’s DRIVE IX AI platform. Volkswagen will use NVIDIA’s “DRIVE IX technology to create “Intelligent Co-Pilot” applications, which will include convenience and assistance systems based on processing sensor data from both inside and outside of the car” per the company press release.

Enhancing AI Capabilities to Power Autonomous Vehicles

NVIDIA knows it very well that for the successful operation of autonomous vehicles, a powerful AI supercomputing platform is required. Therefore, the company is also making efforts to boost its AI capabilities.

On this front, NVIDIA has joined forces with Aurora to build a “Level 4 and Level 5 self-driving hardware platform” by using its NVIDIA DRIVE Xavier processor. Huang, during the press conference, noted, “NVIDIA’s automotive team is working with Aurora to bring up a new modular and scalable DRIVE Xavier platform that will bring autonomous vehicles to market.”

Apart from this, the company announced collaborating with Baidu Inc. BIDU and German auto supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG to build a “production-ready AI autonomous vehicle platform” specially designed for the Chinese market. The partnership will infuse NVIDIA DRIVE Xavier platform and ZF’s ProAI car computer into Baidu’s Apollo Pilot, which according to the company, is “an autonomous driving product targeted for mass production.” The companies anticipate to roll out autonomous vehicles on China roads by early 2020.

Other Highlights from the Press Conference

Although NVIDIA’s key focus was on autonomous vehicles, it did not forget to please gaming enthusiasts which generates most of its revenues. The company introduced a hardware “big format gaming displays, or BFGDs” in collaboration with HP Inc. HPQ, Asus and Acer, to bring in enormous gaming experience on a very big screen — 65 inches.

According to the company, BFGDs put together “a high-end 65-inch, 4K 120Hz HDR display with NVIDIA G-SYNC technology together with NVIDIA SHIELD, the world’s most advanced streaming device.” NVIDIA says that combination of these technologies will give users a "buttery-smooth gaming experience" as well as will enable them to stream their favourite streaming applications.

Bottom Line

With its continued focus on developing new and more advanced AI technologies for self-diving cars, we believe the company is well poised to become a leading provider of technology for autonomous vehicles. In this space, the company is already a market leader, outpacing other competitors, such as Intel Corp. INTC and Advanced Micro Devices, in terms of growth.

Estimates provided by various research firms further encourage us about NVIDIA’s prospects in the space. According to data available from BI intelligence, 10 million self driving cars will be on the roads by 2020.

Per Statista, the market for fully autonomous vehicles will grow to almost $6 billion, while partially autonomous vehicles market will reach $36 billion by 2025. According to Boston Consulting Group estimates, the autonomous car market will be worth $42 billion by 2025 and $77 billion by 2035.

NVIDIA remains one of the best performers in the semiconductor space. Notably, the stock has more than doubled in the last one year, significantly outperforming its industry’s gain of 48.5%.



NVIDIA sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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