German car maker Volkswagen and NVIDIA today joined hands to develop a new generation of intelligent Volkswagen vehicles based on Artificial Intelligence. The collaboration was announced at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2018) – happening in Las Vegas.
Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess and NVIDIA Founder and CEO Jensen Huang discussed on how AI is transforming the auto industry and highlighted the new I.D. BUZZ, Volkswagen's rebirth of the iconic Volkswagen MicroBus, reimagined in electric car form and infused with AI technology for the cockpit and self-driving.
The I.D. BUZZ is part of the I.D. family with which Volkswagen will launch its electric car campaign and gradually introduce autonomous driving starting in 2020. The company plans to launch over 20 fully electric vehicles by 2025.
“Autonomous driving, zero-emission mobility and digital networking are virtually impossible without advances in AI and deep learning. Combining the imagination of Volkswagen with NVIDIA, the leader in AI technology, enables us to take a big step into the future,” Diess emphasised.
One potential outcome of AI infusion into Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ are "Intelligent Co-Pilot" capabilities, which will include convenience and assistance systems based on processing sensor data from both inside and outside of the car. The systems can be enhanced throughout the life of the vehicle via software updates, and can gain new capabilities as further developments are made in autonomous driving.
These new models are based on the completely new MEB car architecture that is consistently geared towards zero-emission and digital mobility. Using a battery that is integrated flat in the chassis floor, and a compact drive system, the cars would offer a generous and highly variable interior, the company said.
Based on NVIDIA DRIVE IX Intelligent Experience platform, AI-enabled features such as facial recognition for unlocking the vehicle from the outside, driver alerts for bicycles, gesture recognition for user controls, natural language understanding for flawless voice control, and gaze tracking for driver distraction alerts are all possible in future electric vehicles.
"In just a few years, every new vehicle should have AI assistants for voice, gesture and facial recognition as well as augmented reality. Working with Volkswagen, we are creating a new generation of cars that are safer, more enjoyable to ride in than anything that has come before, and accessible to everyone,” added Huang.