Huawei launches AI computer for cars to enable autonomous driving

Huawei has revealed more details about its upcoming Mobile Data Centre computer — the MDC 600. This new computer is aimed at providing AI capabilities to vehicles.

“Cars will become data centres on wheels,” said the vice president for Huawei’s IT product line, Joy Huang.

Huang provided greater detail on the MDC 600 on the second day of Huawei Connect 2018, the company’s annual conference in Shanghai. It was unveiled on the first day of the conference, along with a range of new Ascend-branded chips optimised for AI computations.

Huawei said that the MDC 600 will be based on its new Ascend 310 chipset, and that it aims to start shipping the device from February 2019.

“Google pioneered autonomous vehicle technology almost 10 years ago, but it is still not in wide commercial use,” Huang said. Huawei aims to change this with products like the MDC 600.

Huang said that the MDC 600 will be capable of 352 trillion operations per second (TeraOPS), and will run up to 16 cameras, 6 mmWave radars, 16 ultrasonic radars, and 8 lidar sensors.

The MDC 600 will guarantee low latency, offering under 10 microseconds of latency at the operating system kernel and under 1ms of latency across the real-time operating system. It will guarantee an overall latency of under 200ms.

In terms of power efficiency, the MDC 600 can offer 1 TeraOPS per Watt overall.

It is also rated according to the Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL), and has achieved the highest possible classification against injury risk defined in ISO 26262 — ASIL D.

Huawei and Audi

To illustrate the capabilities of its new AI products, Huawei invited Audi China to report back on the progress it has made since their announced partnership in July.

Audi and Huawei signed a memorandum of understanding as part of a broad-based partnership between the companies, initiated by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Audi China’s executive vice president of research and development, Saad Metz, played a video of an Audi vehicle driving autonomously using Huawei’s technology.

Metz confirmed that the vehicle was using a prototype of the technology that will be used in the MDC 600.

He said that Audi achieved the great results they demonstrated in only four and a half months of joint development.

“Today, more than 95% of accidents happen because drivers are distracted — whether texting, tired, or drunk. This is a problem we can solve with intelligent connected vehicles,” Metz said.

Huawei Connect 2018 Day 2 MDC 600

Huawei Connect 2018 Day 2 MDC 600 performance

Now read: Huawei Ascend 910 AI chip unveiled – the greatest computing density on a single chip

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Huawei launches AI computer for cars to enable autonomous driving