MADISON, Wis. – To sort out what’s going on with autonomous car development among chip vendors, Tier Ones, tech companies and car OEMs, the ideal solution might be a “relationship map” to illustrate who’s in bed with whom on highly automated vehicle platforms.
Even if it doesn’t quite rival the messy relationships in a daytime soap opera, autonomous vehicle partnerships are definitely part of a tangled web.
The Daimler – Bosch deal announced earlier this week, however, has brought some clarity. Daimler and Bosch said Tuesday (April 4) that they’re partnering to accelerate the production of "robo-taxis.”
The real significance of the news, however, is that all three -- Daimler, Mercedes Benz (owned by Daimler) and Tier One Robert Bosch -- have chosen Nvidia as their autonomous driving platform partner.
Mobileye vs. Nvidia
In fact, when it comes to the platform battle over Level 4 and Level 5 cars, the automotive industry today is split in two: you are either with Mobileye (soon to be part of Intel), or with Nvidia.
And Nvidia has clearly shown it is gaining momentum.
Asked about the Damiler-Bosch announcement, Phil Magney, founder & principal advisor at Vision Systems Intelligence, told us that Daimler must be “encouraged with Nvidia’s roadmap for both AI and solutions for highly automated driving.” Notably, Mercedes announced a plan to develop AI-based self-driving capabilities with Nvidia even before the Daimler-Bosch partnerhips happened, he explained.
On the other hand, an opposing camp built around the BMW/Intel/Mobileye alliance was announced last summer. Last month Intel announced the acquisition of Mobileye. Separately, Intel and Mobileye last year picked up Tier One Delphi as their partner.
Especially in recent months, among high-profile autonomous car development announcements with prestigious German car manufacturers, Nvidia is stealing Mobileye’s thunder.
But look closely, said Egil Juliussen, director research, infotainment & ADAS at IHS Automotive. Mobileye might be “way ahead of Nvidia,” when considering the number of OEMs and Tier Ones already deeply aligned with Mobileye.
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