The Volkswagen MicroBus is making a comeback, and it’s just one of a new generation of VW vehicles that will incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning to power self-driving capabilities.
Next-generation VW vehicles will use the Nvidia Drive IX platform “to create new cockpit experiences and improve safety.”
At the kickoff of CES 2018 (formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas , Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess and Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang discussed on stage how AI is transforming the auto industry. They also highlighted the new I.D. Buzz, Volkswagen’s rebirth of the iconic VW MicroBus, reimagined in electric form and infused with AI technology for the cockpit and self-driving.
“Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the car,” Diess said. “Autonomous driving, zero-emission mobility and digital networking are virtually impossible without advances in AI and deep learning. Combining the imagination of Volkswagen with Nvidia, the leader in AI technology, enables us to take a big step into the future.”
The Nvidia Drive IX Intelligent Experience platform is a software development kit for creating AI-enabled applications such as facial recognition for automatically unlocking and opening the vehicle, surround perception to alert the driver to potential hazards, gesture recognition for user controls, natural-language understanding for voice control, and gaze tracking for driver distraction alerts.
“In just a few years, every new vehicle will be expected to have AI assistants for voice, gesture and facial recognition as well as augmented reality,” Huang said. “Volkswagen’s work with Nvidia Drive IX technology will make that a reality. Together, we are building a new generation of cars that are safer, more enjoyable to ride in than anything that has come before, and accessible to everyone.”
The VW I.D. Buzz will use Drive IX technology to create “Intelligent Co-Pilot” applications, which will include convenience and assistance systems based on processing sensor data from both inside and outside of the car.
The systems can be enhanced throughout the life of the vehicle via software updates, and can gain new capabilities as further developments are made in autonomous driving. Thanks to deep learning, the car of the future will learn to accurately assess situations and analyze the behavior of others on the road, enabling it to make the right decisions, according to Volkswagen.
The I.D. Buzz is part of the I.D. family with which Volkswagen will launch its electric-car campaign and gradually introduce autonomous driving starting in 2020. The automaker plans to develop more than 20 fully electric vehicle models by 2025.