Pony.ai has begun road testing with the Nvidia DRIVE Orin, and the new computing unit will begin mass production by the end of 2022.

Pony.ai, a Chinese autonomous driving startup backed by Toyota Motor and NIO, today announced the launch of an automotive computing unit solution powered by Nvidia's DRIVE Orin system-on-chip (SoC).

Self-driving startup Pony.ai unveils computing unit based on Nvidia DRIVE Orin chip-CnEVPost

(Image credit: Pony.ai)

Through its deep collaboration with Nvidia, Pony.ai has achieved a milestone breakthrough in computing unit from industrial to automotive level, enabling the company to have the capability to apply autonomous driving technology from basic to advanced, it said.

With the support of the computing unit, Pony.ai is driving the mass production of next-generation autonomous driving software and hardware systems to accelerate the deployment of L4 autonomous driving technology at scale, it said.

Pony.ai has already begun road testing with the Nvidia DRIVE Orin, and the software system is already capable of running in real-time with low latency on the Orin, the company said, adding that the new compute unit will begin mass production at the end of 2022.

Self-driving startup Pony.ai unveils computing unit based on Nvidia DRIVE Orin chip-CnEVPost

DRIVE Orin is the world's highest performance, most advanced processor for self-driving vehicles and robots, delivering up to 254 TOPS to handle a large number of applications and deep neural networks running simultaneously in autonomous vehicles and robots, Nvidia previously said.

NIO's Adam supercomputer in the ET7 and the ET5 sedans uses four Orin SoCs, giving a total computing power of 1,000 TOPS.

The DRIVE Orin chip has 254 TOPS of computing power, along with the CUDA parallel computing architecture and Deep Learning Accelerator (NVDLA), making mass-produced self-driving high-performance hardware possible, Pony.ai said today.

Pony.ai has pioneered multiple computing unit solutions with different chip configurations, and they are based on one or more Orin chips and Nvidia Ampere architecture GPUs, according to the company.

These solutions meet the technical requirements for the development of self-driving passenger cars as well as self-driving commercial vehicles, accelerating Pony.ai's ability to achieve mass production of self-driving technology at scale, it said.

Pony.ai was founded in late 2016 and currently has a team size of more than 500 people. It has R&D centers in Silicon Valley, Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai.

In 2017, Pony.ai established a partnership with Nvidia and used the Nvidia DRIVE platform for the first time.

Since May 2021, Pony.ai and Nvidia have been working together on an Orin chip-based self-driving computing unit, according to the company.

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