Mercedes-Benz: AI for the salon first, then software-defined cars


At CES 2021, a trend emerged in the automotive industry: salon AI for automakers is more important than Software Defined Vehicle (SDV). One of the flagships of this trend is Mercedes-Benz: the company will build AI into the interior of its new electric vehicles. Also, Mercedes representatives say that the user interface of the cabin instruments in these electric vehicles will also be innovative.

At its presentation, the company showed a Gorilla Glass display that combines three screens: the dashboard, infotainment system, and passenger displays.

The 141cm screen is dubbed the Mercedes-Benz User Interface (MBUX) Hyperscreen and extends between the pillars throughout the cabin.

The MBUX Hyperscreen combines three screens – the dashboard, infotainment and passenger display. (Source: Mercedes-Benz)

However, as Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Kallenius said at a press conference at CES, size isn’t everything. “It’s a user interface that doesn’t distract the driver.”

With its MBUX Hyperscreen, the German automaker is clearly taking a step towards Tesla in an effort to attract electric car buyers’ interest in the upcoming Mercedes-Benz EVQ.


Zero Layer

The MBUX Hyperscreen user interface that will be built into the Mercedes EVQ will be built on a Zero Layer principle. This principle means that drivers will not need to wade through menus or speak voice commands to access any screens. Ordinary functions are designed so that they are always accessible. The company explained that navigation data will always be in the center of the screen.


In addition, AI will be built into the software of this system, which will study the preferences and habits of each individual driver. The central element of this system will be an architecture built on hardware and software platforms from Nvidia.


Mercedes-Benz and Nvidia partnership

Mercedes-Benz is already using a chip from Nvidia for its voice assistant, interactive graphics and AR displays in its S-Class flagship vehicles.

However, neither Mercedes-Benz nor Nvidia has revealed the details of the chips designed for the EVQ. At the moment, Mercedes has revealed only the following components: an 8-core processor, 24 GB of RAM with a bandwidth of 46.6 GB / s. All of these components run Linux.

Danny Shapiro, senior director of automotive at Nvidia, believes that “salon AI is one of the trends among OEMs.” According to Shapiro, AI allows automakers to implement interfaces with data that are useful for both drivers and passengers in their cars, as well as warnings tied to the time of day. The AI ​​driven user interface adjusts based on user behavior. Shapiro also mentioned that smart components of the user interface will be useful not only for the driver and navigator, but also for passengers. As Kallenius noted at the press conference, “The UI will adapt to you.”

Software Defined Cars

In addition to salon AI, a new direction for many automakers at CES 2021 was the desire to produce “software-defined” cars (like Tesla). We are talking about cars, the software of which can be updated over the air, as well as in which new functions can be implemented.

And Mercedes-Benz is no exception.

Shapiro says Mercedes-Benz and Nvidia are working together on a “much larger project.” Under the deal, announced in June, the companies will be rolling out Nvidia’s Orin platform across all Mercedes-Benz driving automation systems starting in 2024. At the same time, Mercedes-Benz plans to launch its own OS called MBUX.

Orin’s 17 billion transistor system combines the latest generation of Nvidia GPUs with Arm Hercules processor cores, as well as deep learning and computer vision modules. Although the work on this platform is not yet complete, it will be the cornerstone of the future self-driving systems from Mercedes-Benz.

Nvidia is not alone in making “software-defined” or “user-defined” vehicles, though.

NXP just announced BlueBox 3.0, a new platform for automakers looking to expand their AI and user-defined systems portfolio.

Nvidia has been following this path since the end of 2019, after the Orin presentation. According to Nvidia, the Orin platform is designed to handle a variety of applications and deep neural networks while adhering to systematic security standards such as ISO 26262 ASIL-D.

Ahead of CES 2021, Nvidia announced that leading Chinese EV makers (Nio, Li Auto and Xpeng) have decided to develop their fleets of smart EVs powered by Nvidia Drive. Nio and Li Auto will use Orin in their new vehicles. Xpeng is making new electric vehicles based on Nvidia’s Xavier platform.

At a recent event, Nio unveiled its ET7 sedan. Deliveries of the ET7 will begin in 2022, and the sedan will be powered by a new Nvidia Adam-based supercomputer that uses Orin to power advanced ride automation systems.

“All automakers looking to do software-defined cars like Tesla are turning to us,” Nvidia’s Shapiro said.

  • Russia’s first serial control system for a dual-fuel engine with functional separation of controllers
  • In a modern car, there are more lines of code than …
  • Free Online Courses in Automotive, Aerospace, Robotics and Engineering (50+)
  • McKinsey: rethinking electronics software and architecture in automotive



NPP ITELMA is always glad to young specialists, graduates of automotive, technical universities, as well as physics and mathematics departments of any other higher educational institutions.

You will have the opportunity to develop software of different levels, test, launch into production and see in action the finished automotive products that you had a hand in creating.

The company has organized a special testing center, which makes it possible to conduct research in the field of ICE control, including in a car. The testing laboratory includes motor boxes, drum stands, temperature and climate control units, vibration stand, salt mist chamber, X-ray unit and other specialized equipment.

If you are interested in trying your hand at solving the problems that we have, write in a personal.


We are a large development company automotive components. The company employs about 2,500 employees, including 650 engineers.

We are, perhaps, the strongest center of competence in the development of automotive electronics in Russia. Now we are actively growing and have opened many vacancies (about 30, including in the regions), such as software engineer, design engineer, leading development engineer (DSP programmer), etc.

We have a lot of interesting tasks from car manufacturers and concerns that are driving the industry. If you want to grow as a specialist and learn from the best, we will be glad to see you in our team. We are also ready to share our expertise, the most important thing that happens in automotive. Ask us any questions, we will answer, we will discuss.

List of useful publications on Habré

  • Free Online Courses in Automotive, Aerospace, Robotics and Engineering (50+)
  • [Прогноз] Transport of the future (short-term, medium-term, long-term horizons)
  • The best materials on hacking cars from DEF CON 2018-2019
  • [Прогноз] Motornet – data exchange network for robotic transport
  • Companies spent $ 16 billion on self-driving cars to capture $ 8 trillion market
  • Cameras or lasers
  • Autonomous cars on open source
  • McKinsey: rethinking electronics software and architecture in automotive
  • Another war of operating systems is already underway under the hood of cars
  • Program code in the car
  • In a modern car, there are more lines of code than …

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply