At the start of the month, NVIDIA and Baidu released hints on probable tie up to build a cloud-to-car system for self-driving and just recently the American tech company announced its latest palm-sized AI computer which will be used in the cars of Baidu.
Road to Self-Driving Cars
Speaking at the Baidu World Show last September 1, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said “We're going to bring together the technical capabilities and the expertise in AI and the scale of two world-class AI companies to build the self-driving car architecture from end-to-end, from top-to-bottom, from the cloud to the car.”
And now, the long wait is over, NVIDIA confirmed that Baidu will install its new Drive PX2 for its mapping and autonomous vehicle system. According to NVIDIA, the PX2 artificial-intelligence platform for “AutoCruise” functions will provide deep neural networks to process data from multiple cameras and sensors.
NVDIA Drive PX 2 has a GPU based on the NVIDIA Pascal architecture and powered by its latest system-on-a-chip. Aside from multiple cameras and ultrasonic sensors, it also has a plus lidar. This chip can support automotive inputs/outputs which include Flexray, CAN and Ethernet.
However, it seems the attention of the investors was not caught as the two stocks plummeted in the previous sessions.
Shares of NVIDIA recently opened at 60.60 before settling at $59.87 with 32.69 billion market capitalization. The California based tech company has a price earnings ratio 0f 39.41 and a dividend yield of 0.77 percent. These past few sessions, the stock remained on the downtrend, following the biggest slide as it unveils various projects coming along the way.
After receiving an upgraded strong buy rating from Vetr, the company’s 200-day moving average stood at $45.76 while its 50-day moving average was $60.17. The stock had a 12-month high of $63.50 and a 12-month low of $22.50.
Checking the recent earnings report of the company, NVIDIA had $0.53 earnings per share and a net margin of 16.58 percent with 20.86 percent return of equity. During the said period, the tech company earned $1.43 billion, up by 23.9 percent on an annual basis.
On the other hand, shares of Baidu lost 1.21 percent to $181.90 in the morning session after opening at $182.79. It had an intraday high of 183.78 and intraday low of 180.64 with a price earnings ratio of 13.38. The Chinese web services company’s earnings per share stands at 14.14 and an EPS growth quarter over quarter of -33.10 percent.
Baidu hit the biggest stock jump last September 6 when it traded $189.15 after it denied having unit merger talks with Meituan, a Chinese group buying website for locally found consumer products and retail services. Prior to the significant movement of the stock Baidu CEO Robin Li expressed the intention to extend its services in Europe which excited the investors.
In an interview, Mr. Li said “U.S. internet companies are generally very, very dominant (in Europe). For the search market, Google has a very high market share in Europe; higher than what they have in the U.S., (so) I think European countries are frustrated that they don’t have enough number of choices. That actually creates opportunities for companies like us.”
The CEO of Baidu added that Chinese internet companies were coming up and they will be able to provide viable alternatives. Acknowledging the domination of the U.S. companies in terms of technology, he lauded the effort of Chinese firms in innovation and technology overseas.
Apparently, the market was bombarded with the trouble caused by the previous self-automated vehicles. Months ago, Tesla was greatly criticized after the accidents which involved its Model S and Model X on their Auto pilot mode. NVIDIA happens to be one of the supplier of Tesla on its electric cars.
The digital mapping of Google’s bubble-shaped self-driving cars was also highly criticized due to the fact that the maps can be out of date as road changes may happen. Moreover, the capability of the sensors during bad weather was questioned. Will the sensor work despite heavy rain, fog and snow? No definite answers are given yet.
It was not surprising that these stocks remained in the negative territory despite the recent team-up. Typically, investors get excited whenever there’s a partnership or even just a potential partnership. However, this tie-up has lost the momentum before it gets started. It’s a huge and honest move for Baidu to venture in self-driving cars at this moment, but if Nvidia’s newest innovation can really make a change, then the auto industry should watch-out for this!