Last updated on June 20, 2019
Volvo Group and NVIDIA are delivering autonomy to the world’s transportation industries, using AI to revolutionise how people and products move all over the world.
At its headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, Volvo Group announced Tuesday that it’s using the NVIDIA DRIVE end-to-end autonomous driving platform to train, test and deploy self-driving AI vehicles, targeting public transport, freight transport, refuse and recycling collection, construction, mining, forestry and more.
By injecting AI into these industries, Volvo Group and NVIDIA can create amazing new vehicles and deliver more productive services.
The two companies are co-locating engineering teams in Gothenburg and Silicon Valley. Together, they will build on the DRIVE AGX Pegasus platform for in-vehicle AI computing and utilize the full DRIVE AV software stack for 360-degree sensor processing, perception, map localization and path planning. They will also test and validate these systems using the NVIDIA DRIVE hardware-in-the-loop simulation platform.
Speaking a few hours later to 150 investors and media at the company’s annual event for the capital markets community, Volvo Group CEO Martin Lundstedt praised its long partnership with NVIDIA, which continues to develop.
“Partnership is the new leadership,” he said, with NVIDIA founder and CEO beside him on stage. “If we are to succeed in the future with the speed, quality and safety, and to gain benefits of autonomous driving, we need to partner up with the best guys. In this world of unknowns, you need a partnership built on trust.”
Huang called the Volvo Group partnership a landmark for the trucking industry — the largest, most far-reaching of its kind — which will point the way to the future of transportation infused with technology.
“Our two industries have been separate since their founding,” he said. “Today we announced one partnership to develop the future together. For the first time, we can imagine supplying AI for something that wasn’t possible before, the automation of transportation.”
Apply AV technology to an entire lineup of trucks operating around the world, and the potential benefits become enormous. Industries from public and freight transport to forestry and construction become more efficient, with vehicles that can work longer and travel farther.
Truckload of Demand
The demands of today’s online shopping are putting even greater stress on the world’s transport systems. Expectations for overnight or same-day deliveries create challenges that can be addressed by autonomous trucks.
Already, more than 35 million packages worldwide are delivered each day, which is growing up to 28% per cent annually. By 2040, delivery services will have to travel another 78 billion miles each year to handle goods ordered online, according to consultancy firm KPMG.
Autonomous trucks are arriving just in time to meet this demand. They can operate 24 hours a day, improving delivery times, and with increased efficiency, can bring down the annual cost of logistics in the US by 45% — between US$85 billion and US$125 billion, according to experts at McKinsey.
From automating short, routine trips like the loading and unloading of containers on cargo ships and managing port operations, to autonomously driving on the highway, Volvo’s new generation of vehicles can dramatically streamline the shipping industry.
By combining the high-performance, end-to-end NVIDIA DRIVE solutions with the scale of the second-largest truck maker globally, NVIDIA and Volvo Group can bring the efficiencies of autonomous trucking to the world’s markets sooner.
And before those vehicles reach the road, Volvo Group will be utilising NVIDIA DRIVE Constellation to test and validate AVs, ensuring they can handle diverse operating challenges all over the world.
By leveraging hardware-in-the-loop simulation, the companies can test the autonomous driving systems on the same hardware and software that will run in the vehicle, at a significantly greater scale.
With a partnership capable of delivering crucial autonomy at a global level, NVIDIA and Volvo Group are ready for the long haul.