Nvidia Partners with Mercedes To Create Software Upgradable Cars
Upgrades people, Upgrades!
Well, if we thought that AMD was going to take over, fat chance of that now. Nvidia just announced that they’ll be pushing for a new kind of vehicle with automotive manufacturer, Mercedes. A Software front vehicle that is upgrade-able and different from anything we’ve seen before.
Many vehicles manufactured these days (well most really) harbor dozens upon dozens of ECU, or Electronic Control Units. These units are used for several different functions from advanced safety systems, to regulating your messages, running your media etc. The more advanced cars got, the more that ECU’s became commonplace.
Unfortunately, they’re also the reason that cars have become more costly to fix and significantly more expensive to purchase. Some manufacturer’s, such as Tesla, actively avoid using as many ECU’s as possible because of their fragility. In the long run, it’s just not a cost effective practice.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Enter Nvidia, a giant in gaming and software manufacturing. Nvidia’s Drive AGX Orin chipset will effectively eliminate the need for reliance on ECU’s. As well as drastically improve automated driving capabilities, media software and much more. Orin has an average benchmark of over 200 trillion operations per second, no small feat. With plans to have it as a standard system by 2024.
AI is Great, But That’s Not All
Mercedes and Nvidia announced all of this during a livestream event where they unveiled their plans. This particular architecture that Nvidia is developing will make AI drivers incredibly competitive to others. Other manufactures for AI Software like Tesla, BMW and Boston Dynamics.
Not only will this bring new hardware capabilities, but the software operations will also see a massive upgrade. Over the air upgrades, as seen before in Tesla vehicles, will also be standard with Orin. So people who purchase a Mercedes once Orin is instituted will see frequent upgrades over the course of the vehicle’s lifetime.
Tesla has dominated the market of luxury class vehicles for the last 5 years. Mostly due to their over the air upgrades, AI capabilities, build quality and service. Mercedes already had the build quality and the service locked down, but lagged behind in the other two categories.
Now, with Orin and Nvidia on stage to push forward, Tesla could see some true competition. While they see competition, this also puts Mercedes lightyears ahead of BMW, Ford and other manufacturers.
Time will tell how this shakes up the automotive industry. This software could lead to some massive changes inside the manufacturing process, and longevity changes for the better when it comes to cars.