Artificial intelligence might be the future of driving, Mercedes declared at CES 2017, so they started a collaboration with Nvidia and are planning to bring cars with artificial intelligence on the market next year. Also, Nvidia is the company that taught a car how to drive from scratch.
Nvidia are popular mainly for their gaming technology, but they have recently started working with vehicles too. They made public a video showing the whole process of the car they taught how to drive. The car followed the exact same steps a human would follow, starting from cones in a parking lot and slowly moving to roads.
Nvidia and Mercedes announced their collaboration on this year’s CES but they have been working together for three year. Sajjad Khan, the vice president of digital vehicle and mobility of Mercedes-Benz, announced that they are planning to bring an AI vehicle on the market in about a year. It will not be an AI with full autonomy of the car, but these days do not seem to be far off.
Mercedes are really confident in the fact AI may be the future of technology and they are not the only ones in this industry with such views. At the same CES, Audi announced that they would also start a collaboration with Nvidia and were planning to bring an AI-controlled car on the market by 2020. They also brought at the exhibition an AI-self-driven Audi Q7 SUV which learned to drive itself in four days.
The idea of self-driving cars is not the one that is new, but the AI technology that Nvidia has mastered. Cars with a certain level of autonomy in their hardware and software use technology like LiDAR, 3D mappings and algorithms in order to be able to drive a car by themselves. Nvidia brings this autonomy to a whole new level. Their cars learn how to drive by simply watching a human do it. Yes, the sci-fi technology you used to watch movies about is finally here.
Business-wise, this scenario is not frightening at all. If Nvidia technology proves appropriate for the consumer market, cars manufacturers can opt for using this technology already optimized and not struggle to create their own. This can only bring financial benefits to both parts involved. Audi and Mercedes have learned how to take advantage of that, while we consumers have to put up with the slightly disturbing fact that cars can now learn how to drive themselves only by watching us.
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