January 6, 2016 / 3:05 AM / 3 years ago

Nvidia says Volvo is first customer for new autonomous drive computer

The logo of technology company Nvidia is seen at its headquarters in Santa Clara, California February 11, 2015. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Nvidia Corp. unveiled a new, lunchbox-size super-computer for self-driving cars and said Volvo Car Group will be the new device’s first customer.

Volvo plans to install the device in 100 cars to be launched in 2017 as part of a large-scale trial of autonomous driving technology in Göteborg, Sweden, a spokesman for the automaker told Reuters.

Volvo, of Sweden, is owned by China’s Geely Automotive Holdings (0175.HK).

Nvidia (NVDA.O) made the announcement at the beginning of the Consumer Electronic Show here.

The new Drive PX 2, said company CEO Jen-Hsung Huang, has computing power equivalent to 150 MacBook Pro computers, and can deliver up to 24 trillion “deep learning” operations - allowing the computer to use artificial intelligence to program itself to recognize driving situations - per second.

The Volvo spokesman declined to comment on the value of the contract with Nvidia.

Partnerships between automakers and Silicon Valley companies on self-driving technologies are taking center stage at this year’s show.

Also on Monday, General Motors Co. (GM.N) announced a $500 million investment in ride-sharing service Lyft.

Huang didn’t offer revenue projections for Drive PX 2, but automotive is the fastest-growing business segment for Nvidia, whose largest revenue source is video games.

Reporting by Paul Ingrassia; Additional reporting by Jake Spring in BEIJING; Editing by Neil Fullick and Stephen Coates

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