Mercedes-Benz and Google Partner to Introduce Supercomputers in Cars

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German luxury carmaker, Mercedes-Benz, has announced a partnership with tech giant Google to equip all its vehicles with supercomputer-like performance for automated driving sensors.

The move is aimed at competing with rivals Tesla and Chinese automakers, and improving the driving experience for Mercedes’ customers.

In order to reduce the upfront cost of purchasing expensive high-powered semiconductors, Mercedes-Benz will share revenue with semiconductor maker Nvidia Corp, its partner on automated driving software since 2020.

Ola Kaellenius, Mercedes-Benz’s Chief Executive, said that customers will only pay for a heavily subsidized chip, with low sunk costs even if drivers do not use every feature available to them.

However, only customers who pay for an additional option package will have cars equipped with Lidar sensor technology and other hardware for automated Level 3 driving, which has a higher variable cost.

Mercedes owns a small stake in Luminar Technologies Inc, a self-driving sensor maker that announced a multi-billion dollar deal with the carmaker to integrate its sensors across a wide range of its vehicles by the middle of the decade. The announcement sent Luminar shares up more than 25%.

Through the collaboration with Google, Mercedes-Benz will be able to provide traffic information and automatic rerouting in its vehicles.

When the car is parked or in Level 3 autonomous driving mode, drivers will also be able to watch YouTube on the car’s entertainment system.

Other automakers such as General Motors, Renault, Nissan, and Ford, have integrated an entire suite of Google services into their vehicles including Google Maps, Google Assistant, and other applications.

According to the company, all vehicles built on Mercedes’ upcoming modular architecture platform will have hyperscreens that extend across the cockpit.

The move to integrate supercomputer-like performance in every car equipped with automated driving sensors underscores the increasing importance of technology and automation in the automobile industry.


Joseph Omoniyi

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