Nvidia, which specializes in computer graphics processing units (GPUs), is currently leading the largest technology alliance for developing autonomous vehicles.
This phenomenon is attributable to the structure of the autonomous vehicle that runs by making instantaneous decisions, processing massive data via cameras, vehicle sensors and communications. This fact makes data processing companies take the initiative in developing technology and automakers and auto parts manufacturers follow their leads.
Nvidia solved data processing that existing CPUs could not handle by putting GPUs to good use. Therefore, the alliance includes Germany’s Volkswagen, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, Toyota of Japan and Bosch, a German auto part producer among others.
The other alliance against the Nvidia alliance is the Intel Alliance. As the strongest company in the CPU sector, Intel aims to develop a super chip for autonomous driving car and preempt future technology standards. A strength of Intel is to have Mobileye. Mobileye developed a single-lens camera-based solution for driver assistance and already has a large number of carmakers as its customers. In March, when Intel acquired Mobileye for US$ 15.3 billion, Intel appointed Amnon Shashua, founder of Mobileye as its senior vice president. The Intel Alliance includes the Fiat Chrysler Group (FCA) and German automotive parts manufacturers Continental and ZF.
As it has been steadily pointed out that the Hyundai Motor Group must take part in such alliances as quickly as possible, a lot of attention is being paid to a meeting between Chung Eui-sun, vice chairman of the Hyundai Motor Group and Amnon Shashua, founder of Mobileye on October 17. This is because the two may have discussed Hyundai’s participation in the Intel Alliance.
While it is said that Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles wants to sell the company to the Hyundai Motor Group, the Hyundai Motor Group's participation in the Intel alliance will be automatically completed if the two automakers cuts an M&A deal.
In addition to these two alliances, a technology internalization project being pushed forward with by Toyota of Japan is noticeable as well. This is a concept that the Toyota Group develops technologies together with its affiliated parts companies. This can serve as a model which Hyundai Motor Group, a group with carmakers and an auto parts producer can refer to.
Today, Toyota's parts subsidiary, Denso established a semiconductor company 'NSITEXE' and is developing a new-concept data processing device called “a data flow processor (DFP).” Another subsidiary, Aisin, is planning to enhance its software capabilities such as advancing integrated control of existing devices such as transmissions and brakes and upgrading electronic control unit (ECU) technology.