ZF and NVIDIA took to the stage at CES 2017 to announce the ZF ProAI, a new electronic control unit that will power the cars of the future. ZFProAI is the fastest, most powerful brains that will be able to handle all the computing power necessary for autonomous driving systems. The beauty of ZF ProAI is that it is entirely scalable and able to be to used in applications beyond traditional passenger vehicles. So, think of tractors, ships, trains, factory robots and more.

ZF ProAI works on the NVIDIA Drive PX 2 AI platform and is able to process an insane number of inputs including multiple cameras, lidar, radar and ultrasonic sensors. Without the NVIDIA Parker Tegra Processor it would be nearly impossible to calculate the immense data in a timely manner. This is hugely important to compute the billions of data points that must necessary to attain seamless autonomous driving.

“See-Think-Act” is ZF’s motto and it really pertains to the future of driving. Sensors “see” the road ahead and software and computing hardware “think” and actuators “act” to keep drivers and pedestrians safe. ZF also discussed X2Safe, an algorithm that is key to preventing accidents by issuing early warnings by using cloud networked data that speak to other cars, pedestrians, cyclists. Users could potentially have wearables and phones that could alert them of cars even before they can see them.

Why does my car need a fast computer?

Speaking to other cars and pedestrians is a vital step in advancing the future of transportation. ZF says more than 1 million pedestrians are killed annually, and it believes AI can help decrease those deaths as well as increase efficiency by eliminating traffic jams, a move that’s also is better for the environment.

As society explores more into the world of autonomous driving, it is abundantly clear how important this data and computing power is in keeping all road users safe. The ZF ProAI is a huge part of automotive future as it can be used to save lives and protect the environment.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by ZF, thoughts and opinions are my own.