NVIDIA (NVDA) Partners With PACCAR To Make Driverless Trucks

Just within a day after entering into a partnership deal with the world’s leading auto parts supplier, Bosch, NVIDIA Corporation NVDA yesterday announced signing a deal with PACCAR, a leading global truck manufacturer. The two companies will work jointly to develop self-driving trucks.

PACCAR has already developed a proof-of-concept Level 4 self-driving truck which uses NVIDIA’s DRIVE PX 2 platform, trained on deep neural networks. NVIDIA’s founder and CEO – Jen-Hsun Huang – showcased a video during his keynote at the Bosch Connected World conference in Berlin, in which a PACCAR semi-tractor trailer was seen driving on a closed course. Per the company, “The solution will improve driver productivity, enhance transportation efficiency and increase safety.”

The recent partnerships are seen as NVIDIA’s determined focus on remaining ahead of its rivals – Intel Corporation INTC and Qualcomm Inc. QCOM – in the driverless car technology space. The competition in the industry has heated up with Intel’s recent deal to acquire Mobileye N.V. MBLY for $15.3 billion.

Although, the acquisition will certainly fortify Intel’s presence, it will still remain way behind NVIDIA at least in the near term. We believe NVIDIA’s powerful GPUs, and expertise in machine learning and AI give it a competitive edge over Intel for the time being.

NVIDIA’s foray into the autonomous vehicles and other automotive electronics space has been driving its stock higher since mid 2015. Notably, the stock has been clocking solid returns over the past one year and has gained 207.3%, outperforming the Zacks categorized Semiconductor-General industry’s gain of just about 32.7%.

It should be noted that NVIDIA entered into the autonomous vehicle and other automotive electronics space in 2015 by launching a computer vision system at the CES. The company hasn’t looked back since then and has been consistently bringing new and more advanced technologies into this space.

At the beginning of 2016, NVIDIA launched DRIVE PX 2 – the world’s most powerful engine for in-vehicle AI. In Sep 2016, the graphic chip behemoth unveiled an AI supercomputer chip designed for self-driving cars called Xavier at its GPU Technology Conference (GTC) in Amsterdam.

With continuous focus on developing new and more advanced AI technologies for self-driving cars, we believe that the company is well poised to grow in the driverless vehicle technology space.

Notably, in the last reported quarter, the company witnessed a 38% year-over-year jump in automotive segment revenues, mainly driven by premium infotainment and digital cockpit features in mainstream cars.

Currently, NVIDIA carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.

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