The auto industry is racing to bring increasingly sophisticated forms of autonomous technology to the road, and Volkswagen takes a step forward at CES by announcing a new partnership with Nvidia. They promise for this next-gen tech to debut on the road in the production version of the I.D. Buzz concept. It's a fitting place to premiere the system because there aren't many more annoying driver distractions than a van full of rowdy friends.

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“In just a few years, every new vehicle should have AI assistants for voice, gesture and facial recognition as well as augmented reality,” Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said when announcing the partnership. “Working with Volkswagen, we are creating a new generation of cars that are safer, more enjoyable to ride in than anything that has come before, and accessible to everyone.”

This partnership is still so new that VW doesn't yet have a real-world demonstration of this tech, which it calls Intelligent Co-Pilot. The vehicle's sensors would be able to do things like recognize the owner and automatically unlock the doors and do gaze tracking for knowing where a driver is looking. The company also promises that deep-learning capability would let future vehicles to learn how to assess situations and analyze the behavior of other drivers. The system can also gain new features over time via software updates.

Gallery: Volkswagen I.D. Buzz Concept: Detroit 2017

The Buzz is VW's long-awaited, retro-tinged revival of the classic Type 2 bus. The futuristic minivan arrives in 2022 and rides on Volkswagen's EV-focused MEB platform. In concept form, the model used an electric motor at each axle for a total output of 369 horsepower (275 kilowatts). The 111-kilowatt-hour battery provided an estimated range of 270 miles under the test in the United States. The company was also clear that a rear-wheel-driver version was possible with 268 hp (200 kW) and an 83-kWh battery.

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Source: Volkswagen 

Gallery: Volkswagen I.D. Buzz at Pebble Beach

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Jan 8, 2018

Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ¹ to Use NVIDIA Technology for AI Co-Pilot Capabilities
Las Vegas / Wolfsburg – Volkswagen and NVIDIA today shared their vision for how AI and deep learning will shape the development of a new generation of intelligent Volkswagen vehicles. At the kickoff of the 2018 International CES, Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess and NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang discussed on stage how AI is transforming the auto industry and highlighted the new I.D. BUZZ, Volkswagen’s exciting new rebirth of the iconic Volkswagen MicroBus, reimagined in electric car form and infused with AI technology for the cockpit and self-driving.

“Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the car,” Diess said. “Autonomous driving, zero tailpipe emission mobility and digital networking are virtually impossible without advances in AI and deep learning. Combining the imagination of Volkswagen with NVIDIA, the leader in AI technology, enables us to take a big step into the future.”

“In just a few years, every new vehicle should have AI assistants for voice, gesture and facial recognition as well as augmented reality,” Huang said. “Working with Volkswagen, we are creating a new generation of cars that are safer, more enjoyable to ride in than anything that has come before, and accessible to everyone.”

Focus on Intelligent Co-Pilot Capabilities

One exciting potential outcome of AI infusion into Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ are “Intelligent Co-Pilot” capabilities, which will include convenience and driver assistance systems based on processing sensor data from both inside and outside of the car. The systems can be enhanced throughout the life of the vehicle via software updates, and can gain new capabilities as further developments are made in autonomous driving. Thanks to deep learning, the car of the future will learn to accurately assess situations and analyze the behavior of others on the road, enabling it to make the right decisions.

Building on the NVIDIA DRIVE™ IX Intelligent Experience platform, AI-enabled features such as facial recognition for unlocking the vehicle from the outside, driver alerts for bicycles, gesture recognition for user controls, natural language understanding for voice control, and gaze tracking for driver distraction alerts are all possible.

Volkswagens path to Autonomous Driving

The I.D. BUZZ is part of the I.D. family¹ with which Volkswagen will launch its electric car campaign and gradually introduce autonomous driving capabilities starting in 2020. More than 20 fully electric vehicles are planned by 2025 toward its goal of becoming the world leader in this area.

These new models are based on the completely new MEB car architecture that is consistently geared towards zero-tailpipe emission, digital mobility and make use of the electric drive’s overall package benefits. Using a battery that is integrated flat in the chassis floor, and a compact drive system, they offer a generous and highly variable interior. To this end, pioneering technologies are anticipated to be available from the electric compact car segment, such as the operating concept featuring an augmented-reality head-up display. From the start, the models based on the MEB architecture are planned to offer the very latest driver assistance systems to be prepared for the respective levels of autonomous driving that are available. The MEB electronic systems will also be gradually introduced to vehicles with conventional drive systems that are based on the MQB architecture.


¹The I.D., I.D. CROZZ and I.D. BUZZ concept vehicles have not gone on sale, and therefore Directive 1999/94 EC does not apply.


About the Volkswagen brand: “We make the future real”
The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand is present in more than 150 markets throughout the world and produces vehicles at over 50 locations in 14 countries. In 2016, Volkswagen produced about 5.99 million vehicles including bestselling models such as the Golf, Tiguan, Jetta or Passat. Currently, 196,000 people work for Volkswagen across the globe. The brand also has 7,700 dealerships with 74,000 employees.

Volkswagen is forging ahead consistently with the further development of automobile production. E-mobility, Smart mobility and the digital transformation of the brand are the key strategic topics for the future.


NVIDIA’s (NASDAQ: NVDA) invention of the GPU in 1999 sparked the growth of the PC gaming market, redefined modern computer graphics and revolutionized parallel computing. More recently, GPU deep learning ignited modern AI — the next era of computing — with the GPU acting as the brain of computers, robots and self-driving cars that can perceive and understand the world.


Certain statements in this press release including, but not limited to, statements as to: the benefits and impact of NVIDIA and Volkswagen working together; how AI is transforming the auto industry and revolutionizing the car; the timing and capabilities for AI assistants in new vehicles; the creation of a new generation of cars that are safer and more enjoyable; the potential benefits, performance and abilities of new car technology systems, including Intelligent Co-Pilot capabilities; possible AI-enabled features in future cars based on the NVIDIA Drive IX Intelligent Experience platform; Volkswagen’s launch of, investment in and goals for its electric car campaign and introduction of autonomous vehicles by 2020; and the benefits and features of the MEB car architecture are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause results to be materially different than expectations. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include: global economic conditions; our reliance on third parties to manufacture, assemble, package and test our products; the impact of technological development and competition; development of new products and technologies or enhancements to our existing product and technologies; market acceptance of our products or our partners’ products; design, manufacturing or software defects; changes in consumer preferences or demands; changes in industry standards and interfaces; unexpected loss of performance of our products or technologies when integrated into systems; as well as other factors detailed from time to time in the reports NVIDIA files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, including its Form 10-Q for the fiscal period ended October 29, 2017. Copies of reports filed with the SEC are posted on the company’s website and are available from NVIDIA without charge. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and speak only as of the date hereof, and, except as required by law, NVIDIA disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect future events or circumstances.

© 2018 NVIDIA Corporation. All rights reserved. NVIDIA, the NVIDIA logo, and NVIDIA DRIVE are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of NVIDIA Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. Other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated. Features, pricing, availability and specifications are subject to change without notice.


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