In the future, Mercedes-Benz will install hardware from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Digital Chassis. Specifically, this involves the MBUX infotainment platform, which is to be based on the Snapdragon Cockpit Platform, as well as the telematics functions of the vehicles, including connection to mobile networks. Qualcomm bundles the latter functions in the Snapdragon Automotive Connectivity Platform. The first Mercedes model with the new hardware should come onto the market as early as 2023. What this is about is still unknown. What is certain, however, is that Nvidia will lose a well-known customer with the new cooperation.
Because in the current MBUX generation – MBUX NTG 7 – Nvidia processors provide the necessary computing power. In the highest configuration, which also includes the Hyperscreen available in the EQS, among other things, it is an 8-core processor with up to 24 GB of RAM. The two companies did not initially say which Qualcomm processors Mercedes-Benz would like to use for such tasks.
However, Mercedes-Benz and Qualcomm have outlined the rough framework. Accordingly, the new generation should offer even more entertainment options than the current MBUX, for drivers and passengers. The number and size of the displays should continue to increase, and the same applies to the range of functions.
Better operation thanks to AI
At the same time, the new hardware should enable easier operation. The primary focus is on voice assistants that support more natural communication than before, and the use of artificial intelligence (AI). For the latter, Qualcomm offers co-processors, analogous to its smartphone processors such as the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. The infotainment system should adapt to the driver and passengers over time. However, details on this are still missing.
Mercedes-Benz and Qualcomm also remain vague on the scope of the new connectivity hardware and functions. When asked, Qualcomm only confirmed that the modems support 5G and thus achieve higher bandwidths and shorter response times than previously with 4G. Communication between vehicles (car-to-car communication, C2C) should primarily benefit from shorter response times. With 3GPP Release 16, this direct communication, known as sidelink, is possible via 5G modems – even without a connection to a mobile network.
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