Nvidia Moves Into Autonomous Driving
The auto sector is morphing into the tech sector, but the most significant threat facing automotive incumbents is not tech entrants. Amazon isn’t responsible for the death of Sears. Sears was brought down by executives inside who were too big for their boots, didn’t respect e-commerce, and didn’t adapt.
The retailing incumbent refused help even as losses mounted, but Mercedes, the automotive incumbent, is doing well to admit it won’t survive in a car-making echo chamber. It’s abandoned a mobility project partnership with BMW to start developing a perpetual, upgradable computing platform for cars with tech giant Nvidia.
Tech leapfrogs tech, so customers don’t want to spend big on self-driving vehicles if rapid new developments render their vehicles obsolete at the same pace as smartphones. The Mercedes-Nvidia computing platform ensures autonomous driving improvements are downloadable, so drivers always have the latest and safest onboard.
What are Mercedes and Nvidia made of in a head-to-head with Tesla? The Tesla fleet has already enabled over-the-air updates. It’s a software company, and an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), with bulls suggesting that even if the brand fails, a go-to fallback could be ancillaries like charging stations and computers systems.
Mercedes and Nvidia believe this is “the most sophisticated and advanced computing architecture ever deployed in an automobile,” but rolling it out in 2024 might be too late against Tesla.
The other challenge faced by the sector is how to keep the used car market alive. The incentive to upgrade driving hardware is much weaker when driving software doesn’t need upgrading. Investors are waiting on a fix!