At CES auto tech conferences, alliances of auto technology are forming in the battle for self-driving cars.
Major automakers, including General Motors, Ford Motor Co., and Volvo Cars, deepened ties with the top tech partners over the past week to prepare for the fights with Tesla and Apple.
Which three chip companies have emerged in CES 2022?
Following three chip companies emerged from a string of announcements during the CES held in Las Vegas in locking down the neural pathways of autonomous cars to be used in the coming decade:
- Intel Corp.’s Mobileye
- Qualcomm Inc.
- Nvidia Corp
The agreements will combine scores of slower, older processors into stronger, central computers. However, the chip companies must agree to let automakers manage crucial components that make up the tech to be successful.
Reuters has reported previously that Apple is planning to launch an electric car. Additionally, Bloomberg revealed earlier this year it was reported that the iPhone maker plans to have fully autonomous driving capabilities by 2025.
For automakers competing with Apple and Tesla, the stakes are very high. In essence, unlike electric vehicles, automakers are creating machines that have increased self-driving capabilities.
This means there is a huge chance for automakers to profit from the automobiles and software for a long time after cars leave an auto dealer’s lot but only if they can retain customer data and information for themselves as Tesla or Apple do.
Automobile manufacturers “that haven’t been the pioneers are finally realizing they’re going to be left in the dust if they don’t change their approach,” said Danny Shapiro, vice president of automotive at Nvidia, the maker of high-performance chips.
Nvidia has announced agreements to provide the electronic brains of future models of several Chinese companies developing electric vehicles and collaborates with automakers like Mercedes, Hyundai Motor Co., Volvo, and Audi.
Shapiro said that control of data and technology is a source of conflict between tech companies and automakers. “Control and customization, and who owns the data?”
The answer is a bit complicated due to the sheer amount of technology needed for making cars self-driving.
What will be included in these computer vision algorithms?
This includes computer vision algorithms that aid:
- Cameras detect pedestrians
- Massive high-definition maps of all roads in the world
- Drive policy software to make instantaneous decisions on the car’s behavior when faced with unexpected situations.
In the case of chipmakers, they must have all aspects of the technology available and be prepared to let the customers decide for themselves.
Qualcomm has, for instance, $4.5 billion in the last fiscal year to acquire Veoneer Inc. to round out the various components of software required to enhance its self-driving vehicle chips. However, after winning its first major contract for a self-driving chip in conjunction with GM this week. The software assets won’t be part of the deal because GM owns it.
“Our software stack is all internally developed. So we’re not taking their pieces,” said Jason Ditman, chief engineer for GM’s upcoming Ultra Cruise hands-free driving product.