Cars can be equipped with Nvidia’s Drive Hyperion 8 platform for autonomous driving from 2024. This platform consists of the necessary computers and software for self-driving cars and is compatible with sensors from suppliers.
Drive Hyperion 8 is a modular platform where manufacturers can choose which hardware and software they need. For example, manufacturers can opt for autonomous driving on Level 3, or parking on Level 4. Nvidia can also provide ‘simpler’ systems with the platform, such as NCAP security functions and AI functions that should support the driver while driving.
The platform consists of two Nvidia Drive Orin-socs that, according to Nvidia, offer enough computing power to enable autonomous driving at Level 4. With L3 self-driving cars, drivers in theory no longer have to keep their hands on the wheel, as they now have to do with L2. However, drivers must be able to intervene at any time. In theory this is not necessary with L4.
Cars equipped with the Hyperion 8 platform can be upgraded later with, for example, Nvidia’s Drive Atlan soc. Equipped with an Ampere-Next GPU and Grace-Next CPU, it can perform up to a quadrillion operations per second, four times as much as the Drive Orin soc, which can calculate up to 254 trillion operations per second. Nvidia expects to be able to supply this Atlan chip from 2025. The company supplies two socs with the Drive Hyperion platform, in case one of the socs fails.
Nvidia provides computing power and AI software, for the sensors the platform works together with other companies. For example, Nvidia has concluded agreements with Continental, Hella, Luminar and Sony, among others, so that their sensors work with Drive Hyperion. Luminar supplies a lidar sensor that can be mounted towards the front of the car and thus monitors the environment. Furthermore, Hyperion’s sensor package consists of twelve cameras, nine radars and twelve ultrasonic sensors. Companies don’t have to use every sensor, but can determine how many sensors they need based on their vehicles and their own autonomous software.
With Drive Hyperion, manufacturers get software that records, collects and processes the sensor data. Nvidia does not supply ready-made software for autonomous cars itself, but manufacturers can use Nvidia’s hardware and software to develop autonomous cars faster. Lotus, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, among others, want to use the Drive Hyperion platform.