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Lucid Motors to Use NVIDIA's DRIVE Hyperion Platform to Power its ‘DreamDrive Pro' Advanced Driver Assist System

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【Summary】Nvidia Corp is now at the center of a growing market for advanced AI-powered processors in the auto industry, which are powerful enough to support such features as autonomous driving along with a host of other vehicle safety systems. Luxury electric vehicle startup Lucid Motors is the latest automaker to turn to Nvidia for the compute platform to power its DreamDrive Pro advanced driver assist system.

Eric Walz    Mar 22, 2022 10:00 AM PT
Lucid Motors to Use NVIDIA's DRIVE Hyperion Platform to Power its ‘DreamDrive Pro' Advanced Driver Assist System
The Lucid Air sedan uses NVIDIA hardware to power its DreamDrive Pro advanced driver assist system.

The familiar green and black NVIDIA stickers found on many laptops and desktop computers that are built with embedded Nvidia hardware may soon appear as badges on electric vehicles, as the company continues its big push into the automotive space. 

Nvidia is now at the center of a growing automotive market for advanced AI-powered processors for the auto industry, which are powerful enough to support such features as autonomous driving along with a host of other vehicle safety systems.

Luxury electric vehicle startup Lucid Motors is the latest automaker to turn to NVIDIA.

Lucid Motors announced at Nvidia's annual GTC tech conference that its current and future vehicles will be built on the NVIDIA DRIVE Hyperion platform. The programmable and scalable platform ensures that Lucid's future electric vehicles, including the long-range SUV the company is working on, will receive continuous improvements via over the air software updates.

The advanced Hyperion processor supports autonomous driving, sensor fusion and the high-performance AI computes requirements of Lucid's "DreamDrive Pro" advanced driver assist system (ADAS), which is offered on the Lucid Air sedan. NVIDIA DRIVE Hyperion 9 features 14 cameras, nine radars, three lidars and 20 ultrasonics as part of its vehicle sensor suite.

NVIDIA DRIVE will be at the heart of Lucid's DreamDrive Pro, which will leverage its high-performance compute power to provide a safe automated driving experience. NVIDIA's centralized compute architecture is being integrated with the ADAS hardware of every Lucid Air sedan.

According to Lucid, DreamDrive Pro will be one of the most technically sophisticated advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) in the industry. It's designed to grow in capability with over-the-air software updates through future-ready hardware preinstalled in the vehicle, so new functions and advanced features can be added over time.

Lucid's DreamDrive Pro features Surround View Monitoring, Blind Spot Display, Cross Traffic Protection, Traffic Sign Recognition, Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), as well a driver alert system that makes sure the driver is paying attention to the road ahead. It also offers Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Centering for safer highway driving, as well as Autonomous Parking Assist.

In total, The DreamDrive Pro technology in the Lucid Air sedan currently supports around 20 safety, driving, and parking assist features to make everyday driving safer and more convenient. 

However, Lucid said that new features will be added in the future via over-the-air software (OTA) updates. 

Lucid's DreamDrive Pro is integrated with the company's dual-rail power system and proprietary "Ethernet Ring" vehicle networking architecture for the Lucid Air, which offers a high degree of redundancy for critical vehicle control systems, such as braking and steering.

Ethernet rings are commonly used in computer networking to enable large amounts of data to flow through multiple connection points.  Each vehicle safety hardware component in the Air is connected in rings, or "closed loops." It's this redundancy that maintains the integrity of the DreamDrive if any individual component fails, which is why Lucid chose this electrical architecture for the Lucid Air.

"The seamless integration of the software-defined NVIDIA DRIVE platform provides a powerful basis for Lucid to further enhance what DreamDrive can do in the future — all of which can be delivered to vehicles over the air," said Mike Bell, Senior Vice President of Digital, Lucid Group. "Together, Lucid and NVIDIA will support these intelligent vehicles, enhancing the customer experience with new functions throughout the life of the car."

NVIDIA also today announced the start of production of its NVIDIA DRIVE Orin autonomous vehicle computer for automakers and the next generation of its NVIDIA DRIVE Hyperion architecture. NVIDIA DRIVE Orin SoC delivers 254 TOPS (trillion operations per second) of performance to support safe autonomous driving capabilities.

The Orin SoC integrates NVIDIA's next-generation GPU architecture and Arm Hercules CPU cores, combined with new deep learning and computer vision accelerators.

DRIVE Hyperion with NVIDIA Orin serves as the central nervous system and AI brain for new energy vehicles — delivering constantly improving, cutting-edge AI features and safe and automated driving capabilities.

Nvidia says its automotive pipeline over the next six years has increased to over $11 billion from $8 billion a year ago following a series of design wins with vehicle makers from around the globe, including Volvo, Jaguar Land Rover, Lucid Motors, NIO Inc, BYD, WM Motor, Mercedes-Benz and Xpeng Inc

The forthcoming electric Volvo XC90 SUV will use the powerful NVIDIA DRIVE Orin system-on-a-chip (SoC) to power the autonomous driving and safety systems. 

In addition to automakers, NVIDIA DRIVE Hyperion is also being used by autonomous trucking companies, including TuSimple, which designed and developed an advanced "autonomous domain controller" (ADC) with NVIDIA specifically for TuSimple's Level 4 autonomous trucking applications. TuSimple's ADC incorporates the NVIDIA DRIVE Orin SoC to deliver the computing power required for advanced AI-powered computer vision processing.

 DRIVE Orin will also power commercial robotaxi vehicles developed by AutoX, DiDi, Pony.ai and Zoox. 

"Future cars will be fully programmable, evolving from many embedded controllers to powerful centralized computers — with AI and AV functionalities delivered through software updates and enhanced over the life of the car," said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. "NVIDIA DRIVE Orin has been enormously successful with companies building this future, and is serving as the ideal AV and AI engine for the new-generation of EVs, robotaxis, shuttles and trucks."

To date, more than 25 automakers have adopted the NVIDIA DRIVE Orin system-on-a-chip (SoC) to power their advanced driver assist systems, including automated driving capabilities. Beginning this year automakers will start rolling out the first software-defined vehicles built on the NVIDIA DRIVE centralized platform.

Also during his GTC keynote, Huang also announced the next-generation of the DRIVE Hyperion architecture, built on the Atlan computer. It will be ready for vehicles starting to ship in 2026. The DRIVE Hyperion platform is designed to scale across future generations, so automakers can leverage their current investments for future vehicle architectures.

Nvidia said the next-generation platform will increase performance for processing sensor data and extend the operating domains of full self-driving. Lucid Motors plans to continue development on NVIDIA's DRIVE platform for future vehicles.  

Lucid's first vehicle, the Lucid Air, is one of the world's most advanced vehicles. The Air sedan won MotorTrend's 2022 Car of the Year, with industry-leading battery range of over 500 miles and fast charging capability. 

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