Electronics and Semiconductors

Nvidia selects Luminar lidar for its Drive sensor suite

12 November 2021
The Luminar Iris lidar will be included in Nvidia’s Drive sensor suite to offer companies a complete package for self-driving car development. Source: Luminar

Luminar Technologies Inc. has been selected by Nvidia Corp. to be part of the sensor suite for Nvidia’s Drive Hyperion autonomous reference platform.

The move is a big one as Nvidia is one of the leading companies developing autonomous systems that are designed to be integrated into vehicles. Nvidia has already signed up several automakers to use its Nvidia Drive platform that will enable self-driving cars including many of the major automakers.

The list of companies that have signed on to use Nvidia Drive include:

  • Kodiak Robotics — For developing autonomous trucks as well as Navistar, Plus and TuSimple.
  • Volvo — For its XC90 electric vehicle with some autonomous features that will debut in 2022.
  • Chinese startups SAIC, NIO, Li Auto and Xpeng — All developing autonomous electric fleets for the Chinese market.
  • Mercedes Benz — Integrating into current and future cars for automated driving.
  • Audi — Using the technology for intelligent cockpits and infotainment systems for Level 3 autonomy.
  • Volkswagen — Using Drive for AI and deep learning for future vehicle lineup.

Nvidia is developing both the semiconductors that would serve as the main brains of the autonomous system but also the software packages and artificial intelligence and machine learning. In total, Nvidia has more than 300 partners for its Nvidia Drive platform.

Drive Hyperion

The AI vehicle computing platform is designed to accelerate the development of self-driving consumer vehicles with planned production slated to begin in 2024.

Drive Hyperion will use one forward-facing long-range Luminar Iris lidar in its Level 3 highway driving configuration. The Iris lidar is designed to meet automotive grade requirements for safety as well as assisted and autonomous driving of production vehicles.

Offering automakers a complete sensor suite along with the power of the Nvidia Drive SoC compute system and AI software will provide automakers with everything needed to develop production self-driving vehicles, Luminar said.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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