Mercedes-Benz, NVIDIA team up to replicate Tesla's style?
Mercedes-Benz has partnered with tech giant NVIDIA to develop and install a next-generation computing platform on its vehicles. The architecture, the German automobile giant says, will come as a standard across all its cars from 2024 onwards, and enable seamless driving and parking automation functions, just like Tesla's popular EVs. Here's all you need to know about it.
What we know about this computing system?
According to a release put out by the companies, the next-generation computing system will rely on NVIDIA's Drive AGX Orin system-on-a-chip (SoC) and a full Drive AGX software stack. The Orin technology, to note, is based on the GPU maker's recently-announced Ampere supercomputing architecture and is capable of delivering up to 200 trillion operations per second while using less power.
Software stack will enable automated driving capabilities
Using the Orin SoC, the Drive AGX software stack will enable AI-powered automated driving functions. Specifically, the companies say that the computer platform will allow Level 2 and Level 3 driving autonomy and Level 4 autonomy for parking. According to the Society of Automobile Engineers, Level 2, 3 are automated but still require driver involvement, while Level 4 is driverless in certain conditions.
Automated driving of regular routes from address to address
With this autonomy, Mercedes-Benz will be able to automate "driving of regular routes" with a human constantly being in the loop. The system will also track the driver's eyes, head to assess their focus/drowsiness and use audio/visual/haptic alerts to return their attention to the road.
What else will be included?
Among other things, the in-vehicle architecture will also enable Mercedes vehicles to receive over-the-air (OTA) updates like smartphones. The capability has long been available on Tesla vehicles but is a rarity for the other automobiles. It will be a crucial change for Mercedes-Benz, and will allow the automaker to improve the features, from range to automation, of its cars years after the initial purchase.
Cars will be enhanced, developed over time, says NVIDIA's CEO
"We're going to revolutionize the car ownership experience," said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. "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."
Still, Mercedes is lagging behind
Despite this system, Mercedes appears to be lagging behind in the race of automation. Tesla, as we know, has enabled automation and OTA across its entire range, but other leading automakers, including GM, Ford, and Audi, have also started the shift. Notably, Mercedes' parent company Daimler had initially partnered with BMW for automation but the deal ended due to slow developments, per Auto News.