The German vendor unveils new self-driving car computer, adds Xilinx chips

(Reuters) – German car-components supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG [ZFF.UL] rolled out its latest self-driving car computer on Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and the possibility of the use of Xilinx Inc chips in some of the devices for the first time.

ZF, a longtime supplier of transmissions and other essential parts that branched out into sensors and computers for self-driving car systems, hopes the ProAI RoboThink will one day power fully autonomous driving cars that can roam anywhere – what the industry calls “level five” to drive.

The new computer is aimed at the traditional car manufacturers like ride-hailing companies and the so-called robo-taxi companies that work on alternative types of vehicles, the company said.

For the various other layers of the computers produces cars which are not yet fully self-driving, but are equipped with all major automation, ZF provides, for the first time the possibility of the use of a chip made by Xilinx place of Nvidia Corp, the leader in the industry.

That would be “fourth-level” to drive those cars to drive on certain roads or in certain geographical areas.

Of the more than 160 million by Xilinx chips used in automotive systems today, almost half of driver-assistance systems like cruise control that keeps a distance from other cars.

ZF announcement marks one of the first times that a Xilinx chip is used to speed up the computer for a more advanced self-driving system.

Reporting by Stephen Nellis; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

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