Self-Driving Cars

Mercedes-Benz, NVIDIA join forces to create computer-focused automated driving solutions

Mercedes-Benz is planning for an automated driving future.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

There's a lot that goes into self-driving vehicles. It's not just cameras and radar. There's a bevy of technology that goes into solving the "how" question as well as attempt to automate how to react to other drivers demonstrating their free will, safely or unsafely. Then there's the regulations and laws to consider, not to mention the wide variety of roads, differing traffic laws by jurisdiction, and the appearance (or lack thereof) of a variety of lane markings. And that's just a quick list off the top of the head.

It's no wonder that automakers are pairing up with tech companies to come up with computer solutions to automated driving. Mercedes-Benz is the latest to do so, having joined forces with NVIDIA. According to a release, the two companies are planing to work together to "develop the most sophisticated and advanced computing architecture ever deployed in an automobile."

Mercedes is set to begin rolling out vehicles with the technology in 2024.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The solution will be software based and built on the NVIDIA DRIVE platform. Mercedes-Benz is already saying that the architecture will be deployed in the company's next-generation fleet and will allow for automated driving functionalities.

What features can drivers expect? According to Mercedes, "A primary feature will be the ability to automate driving of regular routes from address to address. In addition, there will be numerous future safety and convenience applications. Customers will be able to purchase and add capabilities, software applications and subscription services through over-the-air software updates during the life of the car."

This includes developing AI and automated vehicle applications that include SAE vehicle automation Level 2 and 3 levels, as well as automated parking functions (up to Level 4).

Level 2 is considered partial automaton and is defined as requiring the vehicle to be in a specific drive mode to allow for the specific execution of one or more driver assistance systems regarding steering and acceleration/deceleration.

Level 3 is conditional automation. This level allows drivers to switch on automated functionality as part of a drive mode and for that enabled technology to perform all the aspects of dynamic driving. When the system requests, a human can intervene.

Level 4 is a highly automated version of Level 3 requiring even more sophistication. A vehicle with Level 4 technology can respond on its own if a driver does not "properly" respond to prompts from the system to take control. This technology would not be available in just one mode, bu rather in many.

The DRIVE platform includes a computer system-on-chip (SoC), called Orin, which is based on recently announced NVIDIA Ampere supercomputing architecture. It includes a full system software stack designed for automated driving AI applications.

The NVIDIA DRIVE platform includes a full system software stack designed for automated driving AI applications. NVIDIA and Mercedes-Benz will jointly develop the AI and automated vehicle applications that include SAE Level 2 and 3 levels, as well as automated parking functions (up to Level 4).

The new system's state-of-the-art capabilities will be harnessed with a total focus on safety. As the technology and regulatory framework develop, it will be possible for every car to be updated over-the-air to enable new automated driving functions. Convenience as well as other safety features will also be available.

To develop the new models, both companies will be utilizing NVIDIA DRIVE Infrastructure solutions to enable data driven development and deep neural network development to handle the requirements of the regions and operational domains where the cars will be available.

A statement from Mercedes says that the technology will begin rolling out in 2024.

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The 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye is the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Dodge's trio of fresh horsepower hellions is rounded out by the 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye, a 797-horsepower car that is the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world.

The exterior of the model is a Charger Widebody, complete with 3.5 inches of width, which alloss for proper space for the car's wide wheels and tires. It rides on standard 20-inch-by-11-inch Lightweight Carbon Black wheels wrapped on Pirelli 305/35ZR20 tires. Three-season wheels are also available.

2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye The car has a revised, functional hood scoop.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The front of the Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye features a mail-slot grille. Side sills connect the front and rear fascias.

Thirteen different exterior colors are available including: F8 Green, Frostbite, Go Mango, Granite Crystal, Hellraisin, IndiGo Blue, Octane Red, Pitch Black, Sinamon Stick, Smoke Show, TorRed, Triple Nickel, and White Knuckle.

The Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye has a top speed of 203 mph (7 mph higher than the standard Charger SRT Hellcat), which it reaches thanks to its supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8. The engine also achieves 707 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. That all sits. below a freshly fashioned performance hood.

Dodge has given the model an upgraded torque converter, which gives the car an 18-percent increase in torque multiplication.

2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Dodge has given the model a number of upgrades over the traditional Charger.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

"The Charger is a big, comfortable, five-passenger sedan that can run the quarter-mile in the mid-10s, 0-60 in the mid 3s and reach a top speed of 203 mph, and be your daily driver," said said Tim Kuniskis, Global Head of Alfa Romeo and Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. The Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye runs 1.2 seconds faster than the Charger SRT Hellcat on a 2.1-mile road course, equal to about seven car lengths after one lap.

Like its Demon relative, the Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye's engine has 25 major component upgrades a larger supercharger, strengthened connecting rods and pistons, larger induction air box, two dual-stage fuel pumps, high-speed valve train, fuel injection system, SRT Power Chiller, After-Run Chiller, and improved lubrication system.

The cabin's dashboard is centered by an 8.4-inch Uconnect touch screen, which includes performance pages where owners can monitor the vehicles' performance on and off the track.

2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye The interior features standard Laguna leather seats.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The standard Laguna leather seats are embossed with the SRT Hellcat logo. Buyers can add the Alcantara Appearance Package which adds Alcantara upholstery and retains the embossed logo. Seats are stitched with silver thread.

The interior is accented by Light Black Chrome material and it features a Gunmetal SRT Hellcat instrument panel badge. Additionally, the car gets a red speedometer, Light Black Chrome instrument panel badge with SRT Hellcat Redeye logo, SRT Hellcat Redeye logo splash screen, and SRT Hellcat Redeye logo on the key fobs.

The Carbon & Suede Package, available on Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye, adds real carbon fiber accents to the instrument panel and console bezels and Dinamica suede headliner, sun visors and A-pillars.

Dodge sells the model in six interior color combinations: black, black/caramel, black/Demonic Red, black/houndstooth, black/Ruby Red, and black/sepia.

2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye The rear of the model features familiar Dodge Charger design.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Dealer orders open for 2021 Dodge Charger models this autumn and vehicles are scheduled to start arriving in dealerships in early 2021

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The 2020 Jeep Gladiator Altitude is a new offering for this year.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Customer have spoken and Jeep has heard. The 2020 Jeep Gladiator will be available in an Altitude trim level in direct response to customer requests.

"Our Jeep Gladiator Altitude model is a direct response to customers who ask for a 'blacked-out' look directly from the factory. The Jeep Altitude models continue to resonate with customers and adding Gladiator completes this lineup," said Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA North America. "We are thrilled that the popular Altitude model joins the Gladiator lineup and is another way for Jeep to connect with customers."

2020 Jeep Gladiator Altitude The new model features black accents.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Gladiator Altitude joins the newer Gladiator High Altitude and Gladiator Mojave in the Jeep trucks lineup. The High Altitude model is more refined than the Altitude while the Mojave delivers desert terrain-conquering prowess.

The new 2020 Gladiator Altitude is based on the Gladiator Sport S. On the outside, it features a body-color grille with Dark Gray throats and headlamp rings, body-color fender flares, and black Jeep and Trail Rated badging. The truck rides on 18-inch Granite Crystal aluminum wheels wrapped in 255/70R18 Bridgestone Dueler All-Terrain tires.

A black Freedom hardtop is standard on Gladiator Altitude while the dual top is available.

The truck has standard black cloth seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel with black stitching and Wizard Black instrument panel mid-bolster and bezels.

Jeep equips each Gladiator Altitude with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that delivers 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard. An eight-speed automatic transmission is available.

Gladiator Altitude models will be available in Jeep showrooms early in the third quarter.

Gladiator Altitude is available in Black, White, Firecracker Red, Billet Silver, Granite Crystal, Sting Gray, Hydro Blue, Gator and Gobi paint jobs.

The 2020 Jeep Gladiator Altitude Edition is priced at $40,340 and comes with an additional $1,495 destination charge.

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