TodayApril 15, 2022

Nvidia, Toyota, autonomous driving GTC17

Good Morning Warren and Friends,

Are you concerned about autonomous driving? If so, which aspect, the intelligence behind autonomous driving or the lack of driving? Do you think autonomous driving will lead to a lack of design or better design? If your car were autonomous would you be more interested in exterior or interior design?

This week Stretch and I went to a technology conference hosted by Nvidia. It was The Big Bang Theory meets Star Trek. I was listening to a Ph.D. guy as he put some code on a monitor and he said, “now this is the easy part.”

The news that brought it down to earth is that Nvidia is collaborating with Toyota to deliver artificial intelligence (AI) hardware and software technologies that will enhance the capabilities of autonomous driving systems.

Toyota will use the NVIDIA DRIVE PX AI car computer platform to power advanced autonomous driving systems. It is the same platform that Tesla has in its cars already.

What does it mean? It means that car companies are already putting the hardware in the cars and slowly integrating small autonomous capabilities to the car. I think of blind spot monitoring, where you are given cues (an orange light, a sound) when you put your blinker on to go to the next lane, and there is a car in that lane. Or if you don’t put your blinker on and the car pulls you back into your lane because it thinks you’re drifting. Those capabilities are in cars now and are very helpful. They are also teaching us what autonomous cars will be like in the future.

Last night we watched “Abstract: The Art of Design” Ralph Gilles: Automotive Design on Netflix. Ralph is one of my favorite designer and Global Head of Design for Fiat Chrysler. Innovation and design drive Gilles. In the last bits of the film, he says he is concerned about the intersection of autonomous driving and not being able to drive a car.

Gilles was going through the design of the Chrysler Portal concept that was shown at CES in January 2017. It was interesting to watch in retrospect. I highly recommend it.

This week I drove the John Cooper Works MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4. The car, out the door, was $37,750 and the EPA fuel estimate was 22 city/31 highway/26 mpg.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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