TuSimple is preparing to scale its self-driving tech with the help of Nvidia’s newest system-on-a-chip (SoC), Drive Orin, the company announced at CES.
The chip, which is specifically made for autonomous applications, will provide the robust, compact, energy efficient and auto-grade compute power necessary to accelerate TuSimple’s race to get its self-driving trucks to market. The CEO and president of TuSimple, Cheng Lu said:
“Without an auto-grade ADC, it’s not possible for any OEM or autonomous technology player to have scaled production of AV trucks on the road,” Lu told TechCrunch. “Today we use prototype systems that are costly, and not as reliable. It works for a small batch of vehicles, but would not work when you manufacture integrated AV trucks at the OEM at scale.”
TuSimple plans to build semi trucks specifically designed for autonomous applications by 2024. The project is going to happen in collaboration with Navistar and the Traton Group, Volkswagen AG’s heavy truck business.
The Drive Orin SoC delivers 254 trillion operations per second of performance, including perception, planning and actuation functions. Along with this most critical hardware component of the ADC, Nvidia brings to the partnership a good understanding of the design and placement of chips into a computational box to make them work most efficiently, says Lu.
The company provides requirements like specific computational needs, sensors and power usage, because TuSimple’s software is embedded into the ADC.