Speaking ahead of the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas late Sunday, Jan. 7, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang took the stage to detail his company's impressive portfolio of projects in self-driving technology, smart assistants and augmented reality.
Huang showcased Nvidia's new DRIVE AI offerings, including a bid to put augmented reality into cars, a new platform to make in-car AI easier to build and deploy, and lastly, a rebooted version of Pegasus, Nvidia's existing autonomous taxi brain.
The DRIVE AI specs came alongside new details from Nvidia's Xavier autonomous machine intelligence processors. The first prototypes of Xavier are shipping out to customers now after they were revealed last year.
Nvidia said it has more than 320 partners working with it on autonomous driving, including relative newcomer Aurora, which is building self-driving platforms for Volkswagen (VLKAY) and Hyundai Motor Co. (HYMTF) . Nvidia also announced a partnership directly with Volkswagen to create an AI co-pilot, plus another with Uber Technologies Inc. to get the ride-hailing company's self-driving projects off the ground. Nvidia is also gaining traction in self-driving in China, where it's partnered with Baidu Inc. (BIDU - Get Report) and automaker ZF Corp.
Investors and techies alike were thrilled with Huang's presentation, which came a day ahead of when most press conferences and keynotes are scheduled. The CES event officially lasts from Tuesday, Jan. 9 through Friday, Jan. 12.
Convinced every time Jensen repeats and reiterates how much Nvidia is spending on Xavier, he is sending a message to the boards of AMD, Qualcomm, NXP, and Tesla to show how expensive it is to do self driving auto platforms. #ces2018 pic.twitter.com/W4TdoInoQI— Patrick Moorhead (@PatrickMoorhead) January 8, 2018
Volkswagen CEO now on stage to show how VW hopes to use new capabilities Nvidia announced - DriveIX and DriveAR, which will bring augmented-reality features and things like gesture recognition to autonomous cars.#CES2018 $NVDA pic.twitter.com/LGHEamzqiq— Jeremy C. Owens (@jowens510) January 8, 2018
Nvidia typically focuses on its initiatives in the automobile space given the nature of the show. For Nvidia's part, the rest of CES is expected to be more about machine learning workload chips than graphics processing units for gaming.
Huang's presentation appeared to impress Wall Street. The company's stock gained 2.3% to $220 in early trading on Monday, the morning after the keynote.
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