In a keynote address at the AutoMobility LA conference, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced that Intel Capital is targeting more than $250 million of additional new investments over the next two years to make fully autonomous driving a reality. This is the first time Intel is keynoting at an automotive conference, signifying how critical the automotive market has become for the company.
These investments will drive the development of technologies that push the boundaries on next-generation connectivity, communication, context awareness, deep learning, security, safety and more. Drilling down into the areas that will be fueled by the fresh investments, Krzanich highlighted technologies that will drive global Internet of Things (IoT) innovation in transportation; areas where technology can directly mitigate risks while improving safety, mobility, and efficiency at a reduced cost; and companies that harness the value of the data to improve reliability of automated driving systems.
When it comes to the car of the future and automated driving experiences, data is literally the new oil. Data has the potential to radically change the way we think about the driving experience: as consumers, as automakers, as technologists and as citizens of our communities. In fact, as a technologist, one of the trends I see as most disruptive to almost every industry is the enormous flood of data driven by the proliferation of smart, connected devices.—Brian Krzanich
In his talk, Krzanich noted that in 2016, the average person generates 650MB of data a day through use of their PCs, mobile phones and wearables. By 2020, projections show that the average person will generate 1.5GB of data a day. Despite the impressive ramp up, however, that volume of data is paltry compared to what will be generated by autonomous vehicles.
Each autonomous vehicle, supported by it platoon of sensors—cameras, radar, sonar, GPS and LiDAR—will be generating approximately 4,000 GB—i.e., 4 terabytes—of data per day, Krzanich said. Cameras will generate 20-60 MB/second, radar upwards of 10 kB/s, sonar 10-100 kB/s, GPS will run at 50 kB/s, and LIDAR will range between 10-70 MB/s.
Every autonomous car will generate the data equivalent of almost 3,000 people. Extrapolate this further and think about how many cars are on the road. Let’s estimate just 1 million autonomous cars worldwide—that means automated driving will be representative of the data of 3 billion people. Just as oil has transformed our world over the last century, data is poised to transform our world for the next hundred years – and beyond.—Brian Krzanich
In his talk, Krzanich differentiated between three types of data generated and used by autonomous vehicles:
Technical data. This data comes from the car’s sensors that interpret the difference between a child or an animal, a fallen branch or a traffic cone and directs the outward decisions and movements of the car. This data takes an incredible amount of compute power, and whoever has the best data can develop the best artificial intelligence tools of machine learning, deep learning algorithms and data analytics.
Societal and crowdsourced data. Data from the world around the vehicle, such as traffic, influences how the car gets from point A to point B, and how the car can change course to point C. The Waze app is a good example of this type of data today. With this data, whoever has the most data will be able to develop the best applications.
Personal data. Data that tracks how many people are in the car, music preferences of each passenger, or even what stores or brands passengers prefer and, when you are near them, tees up sale items. Wearables and other sensors inside the car can also monitor behavior, focus, emotional and biometric status to increase safety and security. Whoever has the most personal data will be able to develop and deliver the best user experience.
Data is truly the new currency of the automotive world. It’s not enough just to capture the data. We have to turn the data into an actionable set of insights to get the full value out of it. To do that requires an end-to-end computing solution from the car through the network and to the cloud – and strong connectivity.—Brian Krzanich
In addition to the requirement for copious, low-cost, non-volatile memory; field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs); and cloud systems, Krzanich said, 5G communications will be fundamental to realizing the promise of autonomous vehicles.