In another effort to boost its tech portfolio for self-driving cars, Nvidia recently announced a deal to acquire startup DeepMaps.
While Nvidia did not disclose the value of the deal, Nvidia said it expects to finalize the acquisition sometime in Q3 2021 (pending regulatory approval). With the purchase, Nvidia is hoping to bolster its Nvidia Drive platform with high-resolution maps using DeepMaps’ tech.
One of the big hurdles when it comes to making autonomous cars is that most of today’s maps aren’t precise enough to support self-driving vehicles. Nvidia says “Maps that are accurate to within a few meters are good enough when providing turn-by-turn directions for humans. [Autonomous vehicles], however, require much greater precision. They must operate with centimeter-level precision for accurate localization, the ability of an AV to locate itself in the world.”
On top of that, Nvidia says that even if you have accurate high-fidelity maps, these maps still need to be constantly updated and localized with new data in a way that’s easy to scale across the world.
By integrating DeepMaps’ tech into the Nvidia Drive platform, Nvidia is looking to create an end-to-end framework for self-driving cars that delivers deep neural network training, high-performance autonomous compute, easily deployable over-the-air updates, and more—basically all the software you’d need to support a self-driving car.
Meanwhile, in other Nvidia news, the recently announced RTX 3070 Ti finally went on sale this week and to very little surprise sold out online almost instantly. Sales of the RTX 3070 Ti followed the release of the RTX 3080 Ti last week—which was also quickly gobbled up—and paints a sad picture for anyone who has been waiting to pick up a new GPU for their rig.
While Nvidia claims it’s trying to pump out as many graphics cards as possible and has also limited the hash rate on a number of new GPUs to make them less attractive to crypto miners, even with GPU sales having increased by 39% in Q1 2021 both AMD and Nvidia haven’t been able to keep up with the historically unprecedented demand.