Bosch develops AI onboard computer for self-driving cars

Automotive supplier Bosch has announced new technology it is developing to enable self-driving cars to learn and take action in complex situations on the road.

At the Bosch Connected World conference in Berlin, Germany, the company unveiled an onboard computer for automated vehicles which applies machine learning methods thanks to artificial intelligence (AI).

“Automated driving makes roads safer, and artificial intelligence is the key to making that happen. We are making the car smart,” said Bosch CEO Dr Volkmar Denner.

The AI computer is expected to guide self-driving cars through complex traffic situations, or ones that are new to the car, Bosch explained.

Cars already use Bosch sensors to monitor their surroundings. In the future, using artificial intelligence, they will also be able to interpret those readings to make predictions about the behaviour of other road users.

Bosch has teamed up with technology company Nvidia to build the core onboard computer. It will be based on next-generation Nvidia Drive PX technology with Xavier, a new AI car superchip which is said to be the world’s first single-chip processor designed to achieve level-4 autonomous driving.

According to Nvidia, the unprecedented performance level of Xavier is necessary to handle the huge amount of computation required for the tasks performed by self-driving vehicles. These include running deep neural nets to sense surroundings, understanding the 3D environment, localising themselves on an HD map, predicting the behaviour and position of other objects, as well as computing car dynamics and a safe path forward.

Production of the AI onboard computer is expected to start by the beginning of the next decade.

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