NVIDIA is overhauling the self-driving car industry — again

(FinancialPress) — One of 2017‘s Wall Street superstars, chipmaker NVIDIA (NVDA), has unveiled a new generation of computer chips with the capacity of operating fully autonomous self-driving vehicles. 25 clients have jumped onboard for development of the new wave of driverless cars, which also includes robotaxis and long-haul trucks.

Among the vanguard of 25 companies, the standouts are ZF – a top automotive parts supplier, and the world’s largest mail and logistics company: DHL Group (Deutsche Post – DPW.SW). As per NVIDIA, the plan is to release the first fleet of autonomous delivery trucks running on the new technology by 2019.

Codenamed Pegasus, NVIDIA’s third-gen automotive line Drive PX is a multi-chip platform with datacenter-level processing capacity. The device is roughly the size of a license plate, and it can handle a mind-boggling 320 trillion operations per second. That’s 13 times more processing power than its predecessor – the PX 2 line.

As per the company, while a single processor can handle up to level 3 semi-autonomous driving (still requires a steering wheel and a driver who can take control if problems arise), the multiple-chip setup can go up to level 5 self-driving – or, in other words, fully autonomous driverless cars.

Experts noted that this dramatic increase in processing capacity lays the groundwork for developing and testing future autonomous cars.

After the release, NVDA shares were up 3.8% in pre-market trading, netting a value of $192.37. The stock market daring has risen 80% thus far in 2017.

“NVIDIA is one step ahead. But you can be sure you can expect (rival chipmakers) Intel, NXP and Renesas not to be too far behind,”

-Luca de Ambroggi, principal automotive electronics analyst for IHS Markit

Both BMW (BMW.TI) and Delphi (DLPH) are hot on the heels of Nvidia’s partners, with Intel’s (INTC) automotive unit Mobileye aiming to roll out their own self-driving platform by 2021. Qualcomm (QCOM), another competitor on the field, has finalized a deal to acquire NXP (NXPI) to form the world’s largest auto electronics supplier.

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