Nvidia
Nvidia

US chipmaker Nvidia has signed separate deals with Chinese electric vehicle startups XPeng Motors, Singulato Motors and SF Motors to develop autonomous driving technology, Chief Executive Jensen Huang said on Wednesday.

Huang, speaking at an event in the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou, said XPeng and Singulato will use Nvidia’s artificial intelligence (AI) driving chip Xavier and its computing platform to develop hardware for autonomous driving, a strategic technology area in which China’s leaders want to compete globally.

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The companies separately said they will work on a series of projects from data collection to machine learning.

XPeng, in a statement, said it plans to implement level 3 intelligent driving features in its vehicles starting in 2020 using customized software and hardware developed with Nvidia and Huizhou Desay SV Automotive Co Ltd.

Level 3 in autonomous driving technology refers to drivers being able to turn their attention away from driving tasks but still requires them to respond immediately in some scenarios.

Singulato said it will use Nvidia’s Xavier platform to develop level 3 self-driving systems and eventually upgrade to level 4, in which vehicles are able to drive completely autonomously in most, but not all, conditions.

SF Motors, based in Silicon Valley in the United States, said it plans to launch its first electric crossover vehicle next year, and will develop its next-generation autonomous platform using Xavier.

Xavier is an artificial intelligence computing system-on-chip released by Nvidia earlier this year. Automakers using the chip can add specific software to adapt their vehicles to local traffic and infrastructure situations, Nvidia said.