If you’re tired of hearing about how every manufacturer from Proton to Mercedes-Benz is going to adopt Artificial Intelligence (AI) in their on-board infotainment systems, the bad news is that it’s not going to let up anytime soon. What was thought to be an isolated development for a manufacturer seems to be rolling out across a multitude of brands, and this is thanks in part to joint technology development between automotive manufacturers and component suppliers.
Unlike mechanical systems or sensors that require a little more programming and a lot more work to integrate, AI systems in the infotainment can work across the board in the same way you can retrofit a double-DIN head unit in any car that offers you the space to place it. Volvo Cars has announced that it will be strengthening ties with NVIDIA, but the tech extends beyond the infotainment system. What they are developing will be a system that functions as a core computer for the next generation of Volvo vehicles.
The core computer itself is based on NVIDIA’s DRIVE AGX Xavier technology, which will allow Volvo Cars to implement a highly capable computing platform for the Scalable Product Architecture 2 (SPA 2) vehicle platform that will underpin Volvo cars in the next decade. They’re already thinking that far ahead, when most products on the SPA platform have yet to even reach their facelift point.
What this new computer will allow Volvo to do is take great steps forward in the field of driver support systems, energy management technology, and in-car personalization options. 360-degree perception capabilities and driver monitoring systems will also allow for better autonomous functionality when letting the computer take over operation of the vehicle.
The SPA 2 platform itself will be based on the existing SPA platform, but will focus on adding next generation technologies such as electrification, connectivity, and autonomous drive. It is with this next generation of products that a powerful core computer becomes ever more important in order to maintain control of the car and to handle the numerous complex decisions that occur – whether it’s as simple as route guidance, or as complex and navigating through traffic.