Updated March 19th, 2024 at 14:44 IST

Nvidia widens partnerships with Chinese EVs, other cos in heating AI race

Auto brands BYD, Xpeng and GAC Aion are turning to Nvidia for utilising advanced technology to make their place in the steep competition from Western brands

Reported by: Business Desk
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AI in autos: Nvidia is broadening its ties with EV makers BYD and other automakers for building autonomous vehicles and AI-augmented technology for infotainment to position themselves in global markets.

Nvidia is based in the US, and is an AI computing and semiconductor manufacturer.

Last year, Chinese electric vehicle BYD surpassed Tesla as the top electric vehicle manufacturer globally.

BYD will deploy Nvidia's Drive Thor, which is their next generation of in-vehicle chips for enabling higher degrees of self-driving apart from other digital functions, Nvidia said.

BYD will also deploy Nvidia technology for building virtual showrooms as well as bring in line its factories and supply chain, according to Nvidia Vice President for Automotive Danny Shapiro during a conference call.


"Drive Thor is going into BYD (vehicles) next year," Shapiro said.

Chinese automakers BYD, Xpeng and GAC Aion's Hyper brand are among the several vehicle companies and developers of autonomous trucks who declared expanded partnerships with Nvidia as part of the semiconductor company’s GTC developer conference in San Jose, California. 

The companies who had earlier expressed intent to deploy Nvidia’s Drive Thor technology include Chinese automakers Zeekr, a unit of Geely, and Li Auto.

These auto companies are choosing Nvidia for its advanced technology to make up for what they don't have as of now in terms of worldwide brand recognition. 

BYD and its competitors are taking initiatives to expand sales in Europe, Southeast Asia and other markets outside China, as they race with Tesla and other established Western vehicle brands in the domestic market.


"There's a massive number of Chinese automakers," Shapiro said. "They have a lot of incentives in place to innovate, a lot of regulation that’s favourable" for creating higher levels of automated driving.

Nvidia has also partnered with US-based software company Cerence, as it forges new automotive and industrial ties.

"There's a massive number of Chinese automakers," Shapiro said. "They have a lot of incentives in place to innovate, a lot of regulation that’s favorable" to developing increasing levels of automated driving.


Chinese computer maker Lenovo is also partnering with Nvidia on deploying large language models, Nvidia said.

Soundhound will make use of Nvidia’s technology to create an in-vehicle voice command system, using which owners can source information from a virtual owner’s manual through speech commands.


Nvidia did not explicitly mention OpenAI or other large language models developing AI.

(With Reuters Inputs)


Published March 19th, 2024 at 14:44 IST