Earlier this year during the Consumer Electronics Show, Mercedes-Benz announced a partnership with Nvidia with the intention of developing technology that would enable the car manufacturer to create AI-driven cars. This is not the first time the car manufacturer has partnered with the graphics card development company. Their previous combined efforts have yielded an AI-powered cockpit that is currently being used in seven of Mercedes-Benz’s cars.
It would seem that that project was a success, so much so that both companies have mutually agreed to work on taking things a step further by developing technology that would allow Mercedes-Benz cars to not only make better, quicker, more accurate calculations, but also enable the cars to run an AI.
Why would a car manufacturer partner up with a graphics card manufacturer in order to create a self-driving car? The reason is so that they could create a car computer that would be integral to the use of artificial intelligence later on.
The current problem with Mercedes-Benz’s car computers is that the system is made up of multiple electronic control units (ECUs) that are each in charge of specific aspects of the car. So, whenever there are automated functions for door locks, windows, power steering, and brakes, there’s a single computer that is in charge of that specific function. While it can be perceived that separate computers that work on specific functions will be more efficient, this would prove to be counterproductive for an AI to integrate car functions into a single seamless experience.
Nvidia Drive AGX
The solution comes in the form of Nvidia Drive AGX, which is a scalable artificial intelligence computer platform and is also the world’s first Level 2+ automated driving system. Nvidia boasts that its computer has the ability to deliver sophisticated driver assistance as well as intelligent cockpit integration to Mercedes-Benz cars.
The computer will be able to unify all car functions — everything from peripherals like door locks and power windows to safety features like steering assistance, brake assistance, and cruise control. You can even extend this functionality to automate other car functions like windshield wipers, headlights, and even after-market lights like the ones from www.xkglow.com.
Other Projects From This Partnership
Nvidia and Mercedes-Benz also have plans to partner up with Bosch in order to create a robot taxi service which will also be built around Nvidia’s AI-capable car computer. And even as many other companies have been trying to develop a self-driving taxi service, what sets this particular project apart is the Nvidia Drive AGX platform. This wouldn’t be the first time Benz has worked with Bosch either. A previous project allowed both companies to create automated parking technology.
The Only Con
The only downside with this new tech is that it’s bound to cause Mercedes-Benz car prices to spike. And as most car owners already know, the higher a car’s value, the higher the insurance premiums will be. So, before making a purchase, this should be a factor to consider.
While not all people would agree with having artificial intelligence take control of our cars, it’s undeniable that this is the direction we’re headed. Artificial intelligence will not only make safety features more effective, but it will also enable car manufacturers to create smart cars that may even integrate with other devices. But it’s also important to keep in mind that these safety features are only meant to enhance safety. You should rely primarily on good driving habits.