VinFast has announced the official names of its three upcoming electric SUVs that were first revealed in concept form last year. The smallest of the trio is the VF e34 (previously the VF31) that occupies the C-segment, which followed by the VF e35 (previously the VF32) in the D-segment and VF e36 (previously the VF33) in the E-segment.
According to the Vietnamese automaker, all three will have Level 2-3 autonomous capabilities with “30” smart features.” During the initial reveal of the concepts in January, the company confirmed that all three will have hardware that allows for up to Level 4 autonomous driving.
To enable these features, VinFast also confirmed that it will be working with Nvidia and will use the technology company’s Drive Xavier system-on-a-chip (SoC) – based on its Volta 12 nm architecture – in its EVs starting in 2022. The automaker will then upgrade to the newer Drive Orin SoC across its entire range of premium EV models later on.
The newer Drive Orin SoC is built on Nvidia’s seven nm Ampere architecture and is dubbed as the industry’s highest performing autonomous vehicle (AV) processor. It features more than 21 billion transistors, 12 Cortex-A78 ARM64 CPUs as well as programmable vision and deep learning accelerators, allowing it process more than 254 trillion operations per second.
This feature set is particularly important to support special vehicle features such as cruise planning, locating charging stations and dealerships, theft-risk warning, user habit preferences, self-driving on highways, parking and more. Nvidia also revealed during its recent GPU Technology Conference (GTC) that the SoC has enough power for infotainment systems, and is designed to ISO 26262 ASIL-D standards for the highest level of automotive electronics safety.
“VinFast’s strategy is focused on cooperating with global technology companies to pair their latest advancements with our products. Enabled by NVIDIA, our new fleet of EVs will have the latest AI capabilities and features essential for safe self-driving and over-the-air software updates,” said Thai Thi Thanh Hai, vice chairwoman of Vingroup and CEO of VinFast.
“VinFast’s selection of Nvidia Drive will accelerate development of the automaker’s intelligent EVs—delivering new levels of safety and convenience that will help shape the future of transportation in Vietnam, throughout Southeast Asia and the world,” said Rishi Dhall, vice president of autonomous vehicles at Nvidia.
In terms of debuts, VinFast says the VF e34 has already been launched in Vietnam, where it is priced at VND690 million (RM123,569). For the money, you get an electric motor rated at 149 PS (147 hp) and 242 Nm of torque driving the front wheels, with power coming from a 42-kWh battery that has a 10-year warranty. The company claims it takes 15 minutes to gain 180 km of range with its fast-charging stations.
Meanwhile, the VF e35 and VF e36 are only due to arrive in 2022. All three are also expected to be exported to the United States (local production is also in the works), Canada and Europe next year.