NVIDIA and Mercedes offer rivalry to Tesla in self-drive market

Car maker Mercedes-Benz and GPU vendor NVIDIA have teamed up to compete with Tesla in the push to develop cars that drive by themselves.

Tesla has so far led the market for next-generation, AI-led vehicles. But the agreement between Mercedes-Benz and NVIDIA looks set to challenge Tesla in this space with the development of a chip and software platform that could eventually be the basis for an entirely autonomous car.

With its custom-designed chips featuring thousands of lines of code, Tesla has been able to bring innovations to market ahead of competitors. Now Mercedes is pushing to close the gap with the help of NVIDIA’s market-leading processors and team of engineers that specialise in AI. The basis of the plan will be a single system providing self-driving capabilities and smart-cockpit functions, doing away with the approach of deploying multiple smaller processors that has so far characterised the approach of manufacturers like Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes. Unifying compute in a car around a single system promises to make it easier to integrate and update advanced software features as they become available.

The initial collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and NVIDIA was announced at CES 2019, when Mercedes-Benz Executive Vice President Sajjad Khan and NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang outlined plans for next-gen AI cars.
“We’re 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,” Huang said at the time. He added that it was the vision of both companies that the car of the future must be software-defined.



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