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Nvida and Toyota team up on self driving cars

NVIDIA and Toyota are collaborating to deliver AI technologies that will enhance the capabilities of autonomous driving systems planned for market introduction within the next few years.

Toyota is proving it's game for autonomous driving by partnering with graphics and data processing firm Nvidia.

The company may be best known in consumer circles for graphics processors in the highest of high-end gaming PCs, but Nvidia is also one of the world's leading authorities when it comes to processing computing power needed to manage all of the digital systems a car will need to one day drive for itself.

"The development of a self-driving car is one of the greatest technical challenges that's ever been tackled," said Nvida CEO Jensen Huang. To help turn the idea into a reality, Nvidia has been building partnerships with a host of automakers and has been investing heavily in artificial intelligence.

"Artificial intelligence is driving the greatest technology advances in human history," said Huang. "It will automate intelligence and spur a wave of social progress unmatched since the industrial revolution."

And it's the company's capabilities in AI, as much as being able to build processors that can manage a host of individual in-car functions that has led to this latest working relationship with Toyota, announced on Thursday.

"Toyota has worked on autonomous driving technologies for over 20 years with the aim of reducing traffic fatalities to zero as an ultimate goal," said Ken Koibuchi, executive general manager at Toyota. "Through this collaboration, we intend to accelerate the development of autonomous driving systems that are even more safe and capable."

The two companies will be working on building the electronic brain dubbed Nvida Drive PX, that will one day make autonomous road-going decisions and maneuver cars on public roads without help or input from a human driver.

"We're combining breakthroughs in AI and high performance computing to build NVIDIA Drive PX," said Huang. "Today's announcement with Toyota is the strongest indication that this autonomous future will soon become a reality."