FRANKFURT — Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz and U.S. tech company Nvidia said they will jointly develop a powerful new computing platform for vehicles capable of supporting everything from over-the-air software updates to driverless car technology.

The cooperation is the latest step by an established automaker to compete with Tesla, Google and Apple, which all aim to transform data generated during a vehicle’s operation into income by dominating the dashboard.

Mercedes will roll out the new electronics architecture based on Nvidia’s Drive computing power across all its passenger car models starting in 2024.

“By downloading new functions and upgrades from the cloud, we want to continuously bring the system up to date, thereby increasing the value of the vehicle,” Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius said on Tuesday in a joint statement with Nvidia.

Cars of the future need the latest in computer processing not just to crunch numbers for self-driving functions, but also understand human speech commands and interact with its environment. The added capabilities also open the door to new business models based on in-car purchases of goods and services.

“Together we aim to revolutionize ownership over the life cycle of a vehicle by allowing for its software to be continuously updateable over the air,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of Nvidia.

Analysts say only software platforms that possess the last link to the driver will be able to profit in the future, sidelining hardware manufacturers including automakers if they do not control the customer relationship.

Autonomous vehicles are expected to offer automakers the best chance to turn data into revenue. The new-generation S-Class flagship sedan is expected to be the first Mercedes to be equipped with Level 3 autonomous driving for use on highways. The upper-premium model will be Source…