Volvo Cars and Nvidia strengthen ties for SPA 2 platform

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 11 Oct 2018


Volvo Cars, the Geely-owned Swedish car maker, and Nvidia, the leading artificial intelligence (AI) computing firm, are joining forces for the development of a highly advanced, AI-capable core computer for the next generation of Volvo cars.

The core computer is based on Nvidia’s ‘DRIVE AGX Xavier’ technology and is expected to allow Volvo Cars to implement an advanced computing platform for its new cars on the forthcoming ‘Scalable Product Architecture’ 2 (SPA 2) vehicle platform. The first car with the new core computer will appear early next decade. 

The agreement will deepen the existing collaboration and partnership between Volvo Cars and Nvidia. Last year, the companies started joint development of advanced systems and software for self-driving cars.

The new computing platform will use Nvidia’s advances in AI. Nvidia’s computing power is expected to allow Volvo Cars to take considerable steps forward in implementing advanced driver support systems, energy management technology and in-car personalisation options. Furthermore, the advanced 360-degree perception capabilities and a driver monitoring system through the core computer could help Volvo Cars to safely introduce fully autonomous cars.

“A successful launch of the autonomous drive will require an enormous amount of computing power as well as constant advances in artificial intelligence,” said Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars. “Our agreement with NVIDIA is an important piece of that puzzle and helps us to safely introduce fully autonomous Volvo cars to our customers.”

Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA says,“As a world leader in safety technology and innovation, Volvo understands there is a direct connection between safety, comfort, and the computing capability inside the vehicle.”

The forthcoming SPA 2 vehicle architecture is the next generation of Volvo Cars’ SPA modular vehicle architecture, which forms the basis of the all-new 90 Series and 60 series cars launched in recent years.

SPA 2 takes the existing advantages of the modular SPA architecture and adds next-generation technologies in areas such as electrification, connectivity and autonomous drive. The core computer plays a key role in this process and is claimed to provide a much easier route towards regular over-the-air software updates.