On May 10, 2018, a sign was posted at the Nvidia Headquarters in Santa Clara.
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Many Chinese car manufacturers are now looking to the U.S. chip company for their electric cars NvidiaAs they increase competition, to fuel their semi-autonomous driving system. TeslaThe largest automotive market in the world.
Chinese start-ups Xpeng NioThey are now using the Nvidia drive Orin chip for their new cars. BaiduJidu launched an auto-unit last year. This company announced that it will use the Nvidia chip in their upcoming car. Polestar is a Chinese brand. Geely.
Nvidia’s chipset, along with the accompanying software platform promises fully autonomous driving.
Bevin Jacob, partner in Shanghai-based investment firm Automobility, stated that “there is nothing to match Nvidia’s offer for a Chinese electric vehicle company or global EV company.”
These Chinese carmakers have yet to produce fully autonomous vehicles. However, their focus is on the so-called “automatic” vehicles. advanced driver-assistance system, or ADAS. These systems allow cars to perform certain functions semi-autonomously like lane switching. For example, Tesla’s ADAS system is called Autopilot while Xpeng’s system is Xpilot.
ADAS — along with other features like fast charging and range — are “key differentiators” in the high-end electric vehicle space, according to Aakash Arora, managing director and partner at Boston Consulting Group.
Arora explained that EVs compete today in the price segment where ADAS can be critical for customer expectation. “Early users of EVs tend to also be early technology adopters, and they value more technology features.”
Tesla may be investing in chip design but that isn’t realistic for all EV businesses, especially start-ups, who want to ramp up production and get cars into customers’ hands.
Nvidia is their choice for chips that will power ADAS features and rival Tesla.
CNBC was informed by Daniel Ives (Managing Director at Wedbush Securities), that Tesla is clearly leading the FSD field with Chinese EV player now actively partnering with Nvidia in order to bridge this technology gap.
“Nvidia’s strong China roots make it a strategic choice to expand its autochip business around FSD.