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Mercedes-Benz collaborates with Nvidia on in-car supercomputer

Partners plan to work on an in-car computer for autonomous driving, and to replace existing in-car systems

Mercedes-Benz is partnering with Nvidia to develop a complete in-car computer that would be able to replace the multiple systems that exist on modern vehicles.

The collaboration will see the development of a single system providing self-driving capabilities and smart-cockpit functions that will replace dozens of smaller processors within current cars, according to Nvidia.

Today’s vehicle software functions are powered by dozens of electronic control units (ECUs) distributed throughout the car. Each is specialised, so that a separate ECU controls the windows, another controls the door locks, while others control power steering and braking.

The two companies will combine Nvidia’s Drive AGX platforms with Mercedes’ automotive engineering experience to develop what they claim is a next-generation vehicle architecture. The partners say that centralising and unifying compute in the car will make it easier to integrate and update advanced software features as they become available, whether for self-driving or artificial intelligence (AI)-powered user experiences.

Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang said: “We are announcing a new partnership going forward, creating a computer that defines the future of autonomous vehicles, the future of AI and the future of mobility.”

He said both companies agree that the car of the future must be software-defined – starting with creating the software for today’s requirements, anticipating software for tomorrow’s needs, and building the computing architecture to enable it.

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Mercedes-Benz executive vice-president Sajjad Khan added: “We are working on a total other different technology together with Nvidia to use AI in our products to lead the way in today’s megatrends.”

The two companies claim the in-car computer will run like a supercomputer to enable Mercedes vehicles to run AI capabilities in the car and in the cockpit, ranging from safe autonomous driving to innovative convenience features.

Read more on Chips and processor hardware

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