We’ve finally arrived in the era of “computers on wheels”, given the speedy developments taking place in the automotive industry on the technological front. Looking under the hood of each car, we’d find a myriad of computer chips performing various functions of a car, which is a far cry from what they used to be just a few years ago.
Speaking of automotive technology, Nvidia has formed an alliance with Mercedes-Benz to develop a new generation of software-based vehicles. As told by the chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz AG, Mr. Ola Källenius, the all-new computing system shall be made available in cars by the end of 2024.
The two companies aim to enhance the operational efficiency of the onboard computer to enhance the performance and the self-driving capabilities of new vehicles. This will be made possible with a software-centric computing architecture based on Nvidia’s Drive AGX Orin computer system.
The system will enhance AI applications that further improve a car’s self-driving capabilities. Reportedly, the system offers Level 2 and Level 3 driver assistance functions, as well as self-parking functions up to Level 4.
Level 2 driver assistance implies that the cars can drive themselves partially, with some input from the driver, whereas level 4 parking assistance means that, under “particular circumstances” the cars can park themselves without any driver input. Also, like their potential rival Tesla, this system will get live updates and improve over time.
Sharing his vision pertaining, Mr. Källenius had this to say:
Many people talk about the modern car, the new car as kind of the smartphone on wheels. If you want to take that approach you really have to look at source software architecture from a holistic point of view. One of the most important domains here is the driving assistant domain. That needs to dovetail into what we call software-driven architecture, to be able to (with high computing power) add use cases for the customer, this case the driving assistant autonomous space.
With automotive giants such as like Tesla, General Motors, Ford, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, and the entire VW group now focusing on EV development, it’s about time Mercedes-Benz also made efforts in this direction. However, it should also be mentioned that Nvidia is a company that wrote the book on computer-based technology, and a partnership with Nvidia is indeed a giant leap forward for Mercedes-Benz.