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Mercedes-Benz, NVIDIA to develop new AI architecture for Mercedes vehicles; centralizing and unifying compute in the car

Mercedes-Benz has selected NVIDIA to help realize its vision for next-generation vehicles. The partnership builds on a longstanding collaboration between the two companies.

Both companies, said NVIDIA Founder and CEO Jensen Huang, agree that the car of the future must be software defined—starting from creating the software for today’s requirements, anticipating software for tomorrow’s needs and building the computing architecture to enable it.

He described a single system providing self-driving capabilities and smart-cockpit functions that replaces dozens of smaller processors inside current cars.

This car computer is going to do things that no computer that exists today literally does.

—Jensen Huang

At last year’s CES, Khan and Huang unveiled the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX), which infuses AI into everyday driving, and is now in seven car models, with nine more being added this year. In July, the two companies, along with Bosch, announced a joint effort to operate a robotaxi service in San Jose, starting in this year’s second half.

This collaboration will now extend to the entire car, with NVIDIA DRIVE at the center of an entirely new vehicle architecture, adding high-performance, energy efficient compute to handle AI software for advanced mobility technologies.

Mercedes-Benz Executive Vice President Sajjad Khan said NVIDIA is the right partner to work with to overcome the massive challenges required to meet this aspiration.

Currently, the vehicle’s software functions are powered by dozens of electronic control units distributed throughout the car. Each is specialized—one unit controls windows and one the door locks, for example, and others control power steering and braking.

Centralizing 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 AI-powered user experiences.

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