Jaguar Land Rover-Nvidia to develop autonomous cars

Land Rover Range Rover Velar sketch used for representation only.

Jaguar Land Rover has partnered with American software giant Nvidia to introduce heightened connectivity and advanced autonomous driving functionality in all cars launched from 2025. Forming an important part of JLR CEO Thierry Bollore’s bold Reimagine transformation strategy for the carmaker, the new multi-year partnership means the two firms will collaborate on software development, rather than Nvidia supplying its technology off the shelf.

  • Cars will have level-three autonomous capability
  • JLR is not buying Nvidia’s software, but working as a technical partner
  • The carmaker's current Pivi Pro system could be updated by 2025

Nvidia’s Drive software architecture will be integrated into all new Jaguar and Land Rover cars, supplying them with “next-generation automated driving systems, plus AI-enabled services and experiences for its customers”.

Active safety aids

Specific details of the system’s functionality remain under wraps, but JLR suggested that active safety, parking systems, occupant monitoring, advanced visualisation and uprated safety aids will be among the headlining features. A crucial component for JLR’s business model will be the opening up of new revenue streams, courtesy of the heightened connectivity capacity of its cars.

JLR is ultimately aiming for Nvidia-equipped cars to be capable of level-three autonomous driving, which means they will have environmental detection capabilities and will be able to make decisions without human input – but the driver must remain alert and ready to take control.

Software engineers from each company have been working together on the project for several months already. “Co-development is so very important, and, the key in this partnership,” said JLR strategy director Francois Dossa. “Collaborating and sharing knowledge with industry leaders in connected services, data and software development is a cornerstone of our Reimagine strategy. Together with Nvidia, we can now accelerate our in-vehicle software, uniquely delivering modern luxury experiences.”

The cars will still use JLR's own operating system – currently known as Pivi Pro, but likely to be upgraded prior to 2025 – with Nvidia’s Drive Hyperion computing and sensing stack integrated.

Tailor-made software

The software can be tailored from car to car across JLR’s portfolio to suit their different positioning. Danny Shapiro, boss of Nvidia’s automotive division, said unique characteristics for each vehicle could extend to “how the cars drive on the road, or maybe related to other things, such as how they are parked or how you can access them”.

Shapiro added, “This is part of the fun journey of creating new software for these cars. If you think about it, when the iPhone came out, it had a bunch of apps, and it was great, but now you look at how many apps exist and it’s crazy. We’re going to see the same type of thing happen with cars, where the interaction with the vehicle, whether you’re in it or not, will be really delightful.”

No financial terms of the deal have been disclosed, nor has a precise time frame been given for the duration of the partnership.

As part of the development process, JLR and Nvidia’s engineers will work to build a pool of data for the purposes of training the autonomous driving platform, which will then be used to create real-time, physically accurate simulations on Nvidia’s virtual Omniverse platform.

Asked if JLR had concerns about Nvidia’s existing partnerships with other car makers, including AudiMercedes-Benz and Volvo, Dossa said, “The important thing is that all OEMs have their electrical architecture and they’re all different. In our case, we call it EVA.”

He added, “This is a very sophisticated architecture and we are going to work with Nvidia to integrate its technology within our architecture. Of course, other OEMs don't have the same architecture, so it will be different. For us, it's a non-issue not to have the exclusivity.”

Collaboration, not purchase

Dossa emphasised that JLR is not buying Nvidia’s software, but rather working with the American firm as a technical partner.

Bollore said, “Collaboration and knowledge sharing with industry leader Nvidia is essential to realising our Reimagine strategy, setting new benchmarks in quality, technology and sustainability.

He added, “Jaguar Land Rover will become the creator of the world’s most desirable luxury vehicles and services for the most discerning customers. Our long-term partnership with Nvidia will unlock a world of potential for our future vehicles as the business continues its transformation into a truly global, digital powerhouse.”

What are your thoughts on JLR and Nvidia's association? Let us know in the comments.

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