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NVIDIA teams with MediaTek to advance AI cabin solutions

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Chip maker NVIDIA is partnering with MediaTek, a fabless semiconductor company, to create next-generation smart cabins.

Under the agreement, NVIDIA’s new GPU chiplet will be integrated into the MediaTek Dimensity Auto platform, designed to provide automakers with technologies that support smart and connected vehicles.

The MediaTek platform was announced in April, featuring a cockpit designed to provide “a user-friendly and intuitive interface that gives the driver all the necessary information as intuitively as possible, without distracting them from the road, while also enhancing the overall driving experience.”

It also includes an auto-connect feature to help drivers remain wirelessly connected with high-speed telematics and Wi-Fi.

MediaTek said its smart cabin features will use NVIDIA’s software technologies to deliver cutting edge graphics, artificial intelligence (AI), safety, and security features. By integrating NVIDIA’s new chiplet into its platform it aims to enhance its performance capabilities and deliver the “most advanced in-cabin experience available in the market.”

“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, MediaTek’s chief executive. “We will together be able to offer a truly unique platform for the [computer] intensive, software-defined vehicle of the future.”

The companies said the partnership will make more in-vehicle infotainment options available to automakers on the NVIDIA Drive platform.

“AI and accelerated computing are fueling the transformation of the entire auto industry,” said Jensen Huang, NVIDIA’s chief executive. “The combination of MediaTek’s industry-leading SoC [system-on-chips] 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.”

NVIDIA already offers GPUs for computers, workstations, and servers, along with systems-on-chips for automotive and robotics applications. SoCs are essentially chips that hold all of a system’s necessary components.

The companies cited a Gartner statistic indicating infotainment and instrument cluster SoCs in cabins is expected to grow to become a $12 billion market this year.

The use of onboard infotainment was tested in a federal probe that investigated whether Tesla drivers could play video games on the front touchscreen while driving. The OEM began introducing its Passenger Play system to certain 2017 through 2022 models in 2020, allowing occupants to play games while the vehicle was in drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began its preliminary investigation of the issue in December 2021 after receiving a complaint, noting that “distracted driving can result in an increased risk of a crash.”

In December 2022 Tesla voluntarily disabled its Passenger Play program. 

On Tuesday, NHTSA closed its investigation, saying that Tesla resolved its concerns by removing Passenger Play.

The NVIDIA and MediaTek partnership was announced months after Eyeris Technologies, a global in-cabin sensing AI and sensor fusion company, revealed that it would collaborate with indie Semiconductor on the integration of its advanced monocular 3D sensing AI software.

Eyeris’ software will be paired with indie’s intelligent vision processor SoC using 2D image sensors to enable automakers and Tier-1 manufacturers to bring to market a new generation of depth-aware in-cabin monitoring solutions.


Featured image credit: smetamorworks/iStock

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