Nvidia and Foxconn team up on self-driving vehicle tech

4 Jan 2023

Image: © MichaelVi/Stock.adobe.com

Foxconn will produce electronic control chips based on Nvidia technology and add these chips to its own electric vehicles.

Nvidia and technology manufacturer Foxconn have announced a strategic partnership to develop automated and autonomous vehicle platforms.

Under the agreement, Foxconn will become a “tier-one manufacturer” and produce electronic control units (ECUs) for the global automotive market. These ECUs will be based on Nvidia’s Drive Orin, which is a central computer for AI-assisted and autonomous vehicles.

Foxconn has also agreed to build its own electric vehicles with Drive Orin ECUs, along with Nvidia’s Hyperion system. This system is a range of sensors such as cameras and radar to allow for autonomous driving.

Nvidia said these two systems work together as “the brain and central nervous system” of a vehicle, letting it take in and process massive amounts of sensor data for safe autonomous driving.

Senior director at Foxconn’s software development centre, Eric Yeh, said the partnership will enable the automotive industry to build “energy-efficient, automated vehicles”.

“This is a well-considered partnership that leverages unique strengths on each side in the pursuit of innovative EV development and opportunities,” Yeh said.

Nvidia said the partnership will help it scale its production of the Drive Orin ECU to meet growing industry demand. The company’s VP for automotive said Foxconn is a “world-class supplier that can scale for volume manufacturing”.

Meanwhile, Foxconn aims to speed up its time-to-market and cut production costs by using Nvidia technology.

This isn’t Nvidia’s first partnership in the self-driving sector. Last year, Jaguar Land Rover teamed up with the tech company to bring autonomous driving features and connected services to its cars, starting in 2025.

Other companies have seen setbacks in their self-driving ambitions. It was revealed last month that Apple’s self-driving car plans hit a roadblock, with launch delays and a scale-back of its autonomous features.

The month prior, an activist hedge fund urged Google parent Alphabet to cut back on its ‘Other Bets’ division, which includes autonomous vehicle company Waymo. TCI Fund Management said enthusiasm for self-driving cars “has collapsed” and noted that Ford and Volkswagen recently pulled the plug on their self-driving car ventures.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic