May 15, 2021

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Mercedes-Benz partners with Nvidia on upgradable vehicles

Tobias Schwarz | AFP | Getty Images

Mercedes-Benz and Nvidia are partnering to develop the next-generation of the automaker’s in-vehicle computing systems that will assist with remote, or over-the-air, updates and automated driving capabilities.

The companies announced the cooperation Tuesday with promises of developing “the most sophisticated and advanced computing architecture ever deployed in an automobile.”

The electrical architecture, or brains, of a vehicle essentially enables the vehicle’s systems to communicate. It also allows the vehicle to receive and send information to outside sources for things such as remote upgrades or service alerts.

Mercedes-Benz will begin to deploy the new architecture across its fleet in 2024, according to the companies. It will use Nvidia’s “Drive” platform, enabling features such as the vehicle’s driver-assist systems to be upgradable. It’s much like how Tesla remotely upgrades systems on its vehicles.

“The entire product is going to be designed differently,” Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of Nvidia, said during a webcast Tuesday. He described the vehicles as being “perpetual, upgradeable” machines powered by supercomputers.

Customers, the companies said, will be able to purchase and add capabilities, software applications and subscription services through over-the-air software updates during the life of the car.

Such upgrades could provide additional revenue opportunities for the automaker as well as assist in expediting safety recalls or other upgrades.

Nvidia shares were up less than 1% Tuesday afternoon to about $383. Shares earlier in the day hit a 52-week high of $385.70.

The Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR concept vehicle was unveiled on Jan. 7, 2020 at CES in Las Vegas.


The companies did not disclose financial details of the tie-up, which expands on an already-established partnership that included the automaker’s infotainment systems.

“This new platform will become an efficient, centralized and software-defined system in our future Mercedes-Benz vehicles. NVIDIA’s AI computing architecture will help us streamline our journey towards autonomous driving,” Ola Källenius, Chairman of Daimler AG Board and head of Mercedes-Benz AG, said in a statement.

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