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Nvidia makes push into self-driving vehicles

Nvidia remains best known for powering video games with its graphics processors rather than playing with tech titans like Google and potentially Apple.

That's not stopping the chipmaker from making a big push into the hotly contested race to develop self-driving cars, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

Read MoreNvidia wants to leap from video games to self-driving cars

As Google plans to start testing its self-driving cars near its California headquarters this summer, Nvidia began shipping a development kit to automakers such as Tesla, Aston Martin and Rolls Royce, the Journal reported. Apple is also rumored to be developing an electric, self-driving car.

The development kits are being used to help train self-driving prototypes and won't be available in consumer models, the paper reported. The kit contains a graphics processor that runs image-recognition software and decodes patterns in footage from up to 12 cameras.

Read MoreGoogle's Homemade Self-Driving Cars to Hit Roads This Summer

The training process involving the development kit could take years. In theory, the kit's software will eventually teach the cars how to tell the difference between a police car and other vehicles. It will even be able to tell cars when to pull over if a police car flashes its lights, the Journal said.

Nvidia processors already power the dashboard and infotainment systems included in Audi vehicles.