back to article Qualcomm, Nvidia are driving us nuts – with silicon-brains-for-cars

Qualcomm and Nvidia have attempted to wow the world with new electronics aimed at making driving a bit less of a chore. San Diego-based Qualy has spread the word of its Snapdragon 820A – essentially the forthcoming Snapdrgaon 820 high-end smartphone system-on-chip tweaked to spruce up dashboards and back-of-headrest screens. …

  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    How about 250 trillion deep-fry dipping operations per second?

    deep-learning operation

    What a silly name. It tells us nothing.

    Are those neural networks? I suppose the board is not meant to do inductive logic programming. Why does it need to learn? It's too late to learn, it has to fight now. Please, we need to know more.

  2. a well wisher

    Last 2 cars I scrapped, were due to the excessive cost of replacement of a failed engine management unit

    This looks a lot more complicated !

    But hopefully I would still be able to drive the car ? or maybe not

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Planned obsolescence

      I had to replace two electronic brake modules in a Ford Windstar at a thousand dollars each, six or seven years ago. This just pushes cars farther away from being useful for more than seven or eight years.

      1. pmartin66

        Re: Planned obsolescence

        No car is useful after that long anymore. All the plastic and rubber stuff wears out, you have to replace EVERYTHING. First time I get a 1000 fix it bill, it's new car time. Never again with this crap.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Tom Womack

    A "deep-learning operation" is half a 16-bit-FP multiply-add operation.

    The core of neural-network implementations is multiplication of short wide matrices by tall skinny matrices, in low precision; "machine learning extensions" is sexier marketing-speak for "supports half-precision FP"

  5. Scott Broukell

    My car has demonstrated what I consider to be a very reasonable degree of intelligence since it was manufactured nearly 40 years ago - if the weather is very bad, cold and icy it quite simply refuses to start!

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    I guess I am going to budget for a few more years on my current fleet

    Any AI can return once in a while a flipping insane "natural stupidity" result. This is inevitable and a normal byproduct of running NN and various statistical algos. At that point I would not like to be in the vehicle.

    You give it "weird" input and voila - watch the fireworks. The worst part is that the Natural Stupidity (sorry AI) in control is usually too dumb to realize that it has to relinquish control at that point and "wake" the driver. Not that this would help if the driver doing some recreational activities with the passenger in the backseat.

    No thanks, I will wait until this nonsense stops and they finally put some guidance hardware into a couple of dedicated lanes on the highway. This is significantly cheaper (when costed in across all cars using it, more reliable and most importantly allowing for much higher density. By the way, from that perspective, the other Volvo idea (the one they are testing in Europe) where cars self-organize into road trains with a leader make much more sense.

    1. ciaran

      Re: I guess I am going to budget for a few more years on my current fleet

      That's the wrong question, I think.

      Sure, computers make mistakes, always have, always will.

      But once the self-driving car makes significantly less mistakes than a human it should be accepted and used, no ?

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: I guess I am going to budget for a few more years on my current fleet

        Perhaps we should amend that to "better than the average human", otherwise the bar is set pretty low based on some of the drivers I've seen on the roads.

  8. Steve Todd Silver badge

    Heavy on the power mind you

    nVidia's offering chews through the best part of 250W, and you're going to have to cool it too.

    1. Donald Becker

      Re: Heavy on the power mind you

      These modules are for development and bleeding edge systems. The tech that makes it into mass-market cars will be smaller and use less power, while the high-end cars move on to using the next round of exotic tech.

      But really, you are worried about supply 250W and getting rid of the heat in a motor vehicle? That's 0.25KW. The vehicle this will be put into will have at least 1000x that power available, with much of that being sent off as heat.

      I'm a little biased, but I do question the wisdom of integrating a cellular modem into a vital part of the car such as the dashboard. Many luxury cars on the road still have the useless remains of center-console phones. More recent middle-market cars have useless cell phone docks. The communication part should be a physically and logically separate module so that it's possible to do the equivalent of updating a 8 track player to a cassette player (errmmm, CD, uhmm, DVD uhmm Blueray head unit).

      1. Steve Todd Silver badge

        Re: Heavy on the power mind you

        250w is worrying for two reasons. Firstly you need to apply much more cooling in a much better managed environment than the engine (which can be open to the elements and runs happily above 100C - the radiator system requires preasurisation because of this). Secondly it's going to have a shorter service life because of the heat. With a car expected to last 10 or more years you'll get through 2 or more replacements for these I'd guess.

  9. JustNiz

    I Seriously just want a new car with no tech in it.

    There are literally no new cars that don't also come with a crap load of retarded built-in tech 'features' that I just dont want. For example you can't even buy any GM model without it already coming with Onstar.

    1. NotBob

      Not sure what it's like on the other side of the pond, but try buying a new vehicle in the US without an automatic transmission. I don't mean an auto that lets you "shift" in some mode; I mean an actual, clutch on the floor, gearshift in the middle (or, forbid, on the tree), no "smart" anything attached manual transmission.

      I think Ford has 2 cars with that as an option. Chevy isn't particularly better. Want a standard in a pickup (that American classic)? Tough cookies.

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