Nvidia, Mercedes-Benz partner for next-gen vehicle computing

Nvidia and Mercedes-Benz are teaming up for next-gen vehicle computing.
Image: Mercedes-Benz

Today’s cars are smarter than ever. However, some major changes coming down the pipeline in the next few years will make them even smarter. Automation is the biggest change that cars are facing in terms of computing.

Vehicles that are capable of driving themselves need to be smart, quick, and reliable—their onboard computers need to be the same. That’s why Nvidia and Mercedes-Benz are teaming up to create a “revolutionary in-vehicle computing system” for next-gen luxury vehicles. It will reportedly make its debut in cars coming out in 2024.

Overdue Upgrade

Despite the fact that cars are getting smarter, their computing hardware hasn’t changed that much. That’s especially true compared to the evolution of chips and interfaces for the mainstream computing world. Nvidia and Mercedes-Benz announced their intentions to work together on the next-gen system in a joint press release on Tuesday.

It says, “Working together, the companies plan to develop the most sophisticated and advanced computing architecture ever deployed in an automobile.”

The software-defined architecture will operate on Nvidia’s DRIVE platform. Notably, it will be a standard feature in Mercedes-Benz’s next-gen fleet of vehicles.

Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of Nvidia, says, “We are excited to work with Mercedes-Benz… Together, we’re going to revolutionize the car ownership experience.”

The new system will enable features like Level 2 and 3 driving autonomy. The latter slightly exceeds the current capabilities of Tesla’s Autopilot.

Car and Driver describes Level 3 autonomy by saying, “In the right conditions, the car can manage most aspects of driving, including monitoring the environment. The system prompts the driver to intervene when it encounters a scenario it can’t navigate.”

The new system will also introduce things like Level 4 parking autonomy. In other words, the car will be able to park without help from its human driver in almost every scenario.

Per the joint press release, Nvidia’s DRIVE platform is also able to “automate driving of regular routes from address to address.” It isn’t clear if this differs from the levels of autonomy stated above.

Continuous Improvement

Unlike some forms of technology, car owners who invest in a vehicle equipped with the new system won’t have to worry about it becoming outdated.

“Every future Mercedes-Benz with the Nvidia DRIVE system will come with a team of expert AI and software engineers continuously developing, refining and enhancing the car over its lifetime,” says Huang.

As for how that will be done, the duo plans to offer over-the-air updates. This will allow customers to buy and install additional safety features, apps, and subscriptions. It’s similar to how Tesla currently sells upgrades to its Enhanced Autopilot.

This is an exciting feature for the new system since it means that it will continue to improve no matter how long a consumer owns their car.

For those interested in owning a Mercedes-Benz in the near future, the partnership with Nvidia is game-changing. Together, the duo will revolutionize what it means to say a car is “smart.”

Their system will continue to evolve and get better as self-driving technology improves in the years ahead. It also sets an example for other automotive computing companies and suggests that driving is only going to get smarter.


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