Reuters- TuSimple Holdings Inc has said it has partnered with Nvidia Corp to develop an advanced autonomous driving computer for its self-driving trucks.
The CPU, known as the domain controller in the automotive industry, will be specifically engineered for TuSimple's commercial self-driving trucks, and will power sensor perception and vehicle operation.
Nvidia will provide artificial intelligence expertise and its Drive Orin hardware, a chip designed specifically for autonomous driving capabilities.
The controller powered by Nvidia's chip is expected to be installed in the autonomous trucks TuSimple is developing in partnership with manufacturer Navistar, expected to be produced in 2024.
The move provides us a competitive advantage in speeding time to market, said Cheng Lu, TuSimple Chief Executive Officer.
TuSimple plans to work with an unnamed third party manufacturer to produce it, as it will own usage rights to the controller's design.
Controllers are crucial in the development of self-driving, allowing automakers to centralize compute-intensive instruments such as cameras, radars and lidar sensors.
Instead of having each sensor equipped with an individual electronic control unit, the domain controller handles computing tasks centrally, saving cost and space and allowing software updates to take place remotely.
Other chipmakers, including Qualcomm Inc, Intel Corp, Mobileye and NXP, are also offering domain controller chips for the automotive industry.
Self-driving freight trucks have become a focus of the autonomous industry in recent years and could potentially offer a faster way to generate returns than passenger robotaxis, even though they are still largely in pilot projects.