It’s hard to not think of EVs and great infotainment systems with connected features as going hand-in-hand. But, there’s no physical reason that we must do this. EV conversions and some entry-level EVs show us that an EV can be just as dumb as any ICE vehicle and still be able to drive around.
These systems seem essential to the EV experience because they vastly improve it. These advanced technologies not only provide entertainment and convenience, but also contribute to the efficient operation and management of EVs.
One big reason it’s important is the battery. Infotainment systems can display crucial information about the vehicle’s battery status, including charge level, estimated range, and energy consumption data. This helps drivers make informed decisions, such as planning charging stops for long trips or adjusting their driving style to maximize energy efficiency. Connected features in EVs often include built-in navigation systems that can locate nearby charging stations, taking into account the vehicle’s current state of charge and route preferences, and then calculating what energy will be needed to drive the route (including the effects of terrain, weather, and other important factors). This reduces range anxiety and provides a seamless driving experience for EV owners.
Electric vehicles can also receive software updates over the air, enabling manufacturers to improve vehicle performance, fix bugs, and introduce new features without requiring a visit to a service center. Infotainment and connected systems play a crucial role in facilitating these updates, ensuring that EVs remain up-to-date with the latest technology.
Another thing many smart EVs offer is smartphone integration, allowing users to remotely monitor and control various vehicle functions, such as checking the battery status, pre-conditioning the cabin temperature, and locking or unlocking doors. This enhances convenience and provides a more personalized driving experience.
Finally, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) rely on connectivity and infotainment systems to provide real-time feedback, warnings, and assistance to drivers. These features can help prevent accidents, maintain safe driving practices, and enhance overall vehicle safety.
With all of this in mind, it’s important to see what the industry is doing with connected vehicles and advanced computing systems. A company that gets this great will do well, while companies that don’t get it right, will tend to lag behind in the market because the driving experience will suffer.
This extends far beyond the automotive manufacturers. Companies that supply the best players will have success while companies supplying the dying dinosaurs will be among the dead.
Nvidia & MediaTek Strike A Deal To Improve Vehicle Computing
MediaTek, Inc. is a multinational semiconductor company that specializes in the research, development, and manufacturing of system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for various electronic devices. Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan, MediaTek primarily focuses on products for wireless communication, high-definition television, handheld mobile devices, navigation systems, and consumer multimedia products.
MediaTek’s offerings include chipsets for smartphones, tablet computers, smart TVs, set-top boxes, and other connected devices. The company is known for providing cost-effective and power-efficient solutions, enabling manufacturers to produce affordable devices while maintaining competitive performance levels.
Over the years, MediaTek has become one of the largest semiconductor companies globally, competing with industry giants such as Qualcomm, Samsung, and Intel. MediaTek’s success can be attributed to its ability to cater to various market segments, including emerging markets, where affordable and feature-rich devices are in high demand.
Given this history, it is well-positioned to be a big player in fulfilling the automotive industry’s need for advanced circuitry. MediaTek also works with several automakers to provide advanced technology solutions for their vehicles. Some of these partnerships include collaborations with BMW, Hyundai, and Toyota. MediaTek’s automotive solutions range from telematics and infotainment systems to advanced driver assistance systems and in-vehicle communication technologies.
But, nobody gets there alone.
A recent company announcement revealed a partnership with NVIDIA, with the goal to offer a full range of in-vehicle AI cabin solutions for the next generation of software-defined vehicles. This collaboration unites the strengths of each company’s automotive portfolios, producing advanced solutions for state-of-the-art connected cars.
“NVIDIA is a world-renowned pioneer and industry leader in AI and computing. With this partnership, our collaborative vision is to provide a global one-stop shop for the automotive industry, designing the next generation of intelligent, always-connected vehicles,” said Rick Tsai, Vice Chairman and CEO of MediaTek. “Through this special collaboration with NVIDIA, we will together be able to offer a truly unique platform for the compute intensive, software-defined vehicle of the future.”
In this partnership, MediaTek will create automotive SoCs that incorporate a new NVIDIA GPU chiplet, along with NVIDIA AI and graphics IP. The chiplets will connect through an ultra-fast, coherent chiplet interconnect technology.
MediaTek’s intelligent cabin solutions will utilize NVIDIA DRIVE OS, DRIVE IX, CUDA, and TensorRT software technologies, providing a comprehensive range of AI cabin and cockpit functions, including advanced graphics, AI, safety, and security features.
MediaTek and NVIDIA will collaborate to produce automotive solutions that exceed the industry’s evolving requirements and expectations, presenting a substantial market opportunity for both companies. Gartner predicts that the total addressable market for infotainment and instrument cluster SoCs within vehicles will reach $12 billion by 2023.
“AI and accelerated computing are fueling the transformation of the entire auto industry,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. “The combination of MediaTek’s industry-leading SoC and NVIDIA’s GPU and AI software technologies will enable new user experiences, enhanced safety and new connected services for all vehicle segments, from luxury to mainstream.”
Leveraging NVIDIA’s proficiency in AI, cloud, graphics technology, and software, as well as its ADAS solutions, MediaTek can enhance the potential of its extensive Dimensity Auto platform. According to the companies, this platform capitalizes on MediaTek’s know-how in mobile computing, high-speed connectivity, entertainment, and the widespread Android ecosystem to provide an all-encompassing, intelligent in-vehicle experience.
Software Is Still Key
While this is great news for automotive manufacturers, software is still a key component to making it all work. So, we must also keep an eye on what the manufacturers are doing at the end, long after these parts have become part of an infotainment system.
Featured image provided by MediaTek and NVIDIA.
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