CES 2018: NVIDIA CEO Unveils Drive Xavier, World's First Autonomous Machine Processor

Autonomous driving has been a sci-fi dream for many years, but NVIDIA is taking a major first step to bringing the technology to life in the real world.

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Gaming, artificial intelligence, and autonomous vehicles are three top priorities for NVIDIA currently. Jensen Huang took the stage to discuss the three pillars, eventually working toward the monumental announcement of a new processor built to handle the massive amounts of computing needed to bring the autonomous vehicle dream to life.

Autonomous vehicles could reduce cost-per-mile to the same level of car ownership, if not below. Huang says that it will revolutionize trucking and extend the range of drivers by allowing them to rest for hours while traveling. Huang also spoke on the fact that there are massive computing problems that must be overcome before AV becomes a reality and announced the world's first autonomous machine processor: The Drive Xavier. The new processor will be available for sampling in Q1 and it has been 8000 engineering years in the making.

Huang showed off in the image below how space efficient the new processor is when it comes to the chip system being placed in the vehicle.

Via video, Huang and his team showed off a vehicle on the road that was being powered by the new Drive Xavier after only being made available two weeks prior. Huang hopes to be in production by the end of the year. Another video showed a human passenger riding along for an 8-mile autonomous route that showed the car safely navigating the roads, abiding by traffic laws, and yielding to other vehicles.

Baidu and ZF in China have selected the Drive Xavier for their AV car development. Aurora and NVIDIA will partner up to build the autonomous vehicle compute platform. Uber is partnering with NVIDIA to create self-driving Ubers.

The NVIDIA Pegasus is powered by two Drive Xaviers and, in theory, Huang says it can power a "robot taxi" with only 400 watts of power. This tech will also be sampled this year. 

Huang also revealed the NVIDIA Drive IX, a platform that can be used to power human-driven vehicles with autonomous tech. The included tech will essentially take the "smart car" idea to the next level by allowed it to track your gaze, notice if your drowsy, operate with voice commands, and more.

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Charles Singletary Jr keeps the updates flowing as the News Editor, breaking stories while investigating the biggest topics in gaming and technology. He's pretty active on Twitter, so feel free to reach out to him @The_CSJR. Got a hot tip? Email him at Charles.Singletary@Shacknews.com.

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