>> Automaker’s fleet to become perpetually upgradeable, backed by teams of software engineers and AI experts, starting in 2024.

The automaker responsible for the world’s first car is now the first to deliver software-defined vehicles across its entire fleet, powered by NVIDIA.

In a live-streamed media event from Stuttgart and Silicon Valley, Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Källenius and NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang announced today that the automaker will launch software-defined, intelligent vehicles using end-to-end NVIDIA technology.

“This is the biggest partnership of its kind in the transportation industry,” Huang said. “We’re breaking ground on several different fronts, from technology to business models, and I can’t imagine a better company to do this with than Mercedes-Benz.”

Starting in 2024, every next-generation Mercedes-Benz vehicle will include this first-of-its-kind software-defined computing architecture that includes the most powerful computer, system software and applications for consumers, marking the turning point of traditional vehicles becoming high-performance, updateable computing devices.

These revolutionary vehicles are enabled by NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Orin, with multiple processing engines for high-performance, energy efficient compute and AI, and equipped with surround sensors. Primary features will be the ability to drive regular routes from address to address autonomously and Level 4 automated parking, in addition to countless safety and convenience applications. These capabilities will continue to be better, as AI technology advances at lightning rates.

“At no time in history has so much computing power been put into a car,” Huang said.

“This is a field that has so many opportunities, it will make driving much safer on the road to fully autonomous driving,” said Källenius. “By using an architecture from NVIDIA that makes it possible to update through the life of the vehicle, there will be endless possibilities.”

Centralizing and unifying computing in the car will make it easier to integrate and update advanced software features as they are developed. Just like a mobile phone, which periodically gets software updates, these software-defined vehicles will be able to do the same.

With over-the-air updates, vehicles can constantly receive the latest autonomous driving and intelligent cockpit features, increasing value and extending the joy of ownership with each software upgrade.

Huang said: “The definition of a car will change forever. No longer will the best moment of your car be at the point of sale. The Mercedes-Benz partnership is the starting point, and behind it are thousands of engineers. They’re your own personal software and research lab, who will stay with you over the life of the car.

This will revolutionize the way cars are sold and enjoyed.”


State of the Art at Any Age

Breakthroughs in AI and computing are opening future fleets to dramatic new functionality, fundamentally transforming the vehicle architecture for the first time in decades.

And this transformation is occurring rapidly. The market for AI hardware, software and in-car services is worth about $5 billion today. By extending these capabilities to a fleet of about 100 million vehicles, the market has the potential to grow to $700 billion.

Like all modern computing devices, these intelligent vehicles are supported by a large team of AI and software engineers, dedicated to improving the performance and capability of the car as technology advances.

This software-defined architecture is also opening up new business models for automakers. Mercedes-Benz can add capabilities and services over the air at any time through the life of not just one customer, but across customers through the life of the car.

“Mercedes-Benz customers who love Mercedes-Benz will have a new way of enjoying their car,” said Huang. “This is a level of scale that has never been achieved before.”

An Amped Up Architecture

Mercedes’ next generation of automotive innovation will be developed with AI from end to end.

This development begins in the data center. Both companies will work together to validate intelligent new autonomous driving experiences using NVIDIA DRIVE Infrastructure solutions.

DRIVE Infrastructure encompasses the complete data center hardware, software and workflows needed to develop and validate autonomous driving technology, from raw data collection through validation. It provides the building blocks required for DNN development and training as well as provides necessary validation, replay and testing in simulation to enable a safe autonomous driving experience.

NVIDIA’s complete DRIVE Software stack (including DriveWorks, Perception, Mapping and Planning) will run on Mercedes-Benz’ new, centralized compute architecture using the NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Orin platform. This next-generation AI compute platform delivers 200 trillion operations per second (TOPS) for the entire Mercedes-Benz lineup, from entry level to high end.

By developing an architecturally coherent and programmable fleet, Mercedes-Benz will again redefine what it is to be a mobility company, nurturing a growing installed base to offer software upgradeable applications and subscription services for the entire life of its upcoming fleet.

Author - Danny Shapiro, NVIDIA’s Senior Director of Automotive