There are two principal influences inspiring the next generation of automotive innovation: safety and convenience.
These two influences have helped advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) begin to eclipse In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) as the main market focus. Consumers are demanding both safety and convenience benefits in their vehicles, and automakers are working hard to deliver.
The Internet of Things and data
The Internet of Things (IoT) will make a more advanced driving experience possible. The car is one of the largest data generators a consumer has. Many are unaware that their vehicle actually produces gigabytes of “data exhaust.” While most of that data is truly useless outside of car operations, the remaining potentially valuable data goes unused. For a deeper dive on IoT and the automotive industry, listen to my podcast here.
We must begin to think of the car as more of a system of systems:
- The car will do some of its own processing and analysis to decide what information should “blow out the tailpipe” and what should go to the cloud.
- Other analytics will have to occur closer to the road. The vehicles around you, the sign posts, the exits and lane markers—they will generate valuable information your car needs to receive.
So the infrastructure along the highways will need to be more intelligent. And the architecture will need to be open. An open architecture in the cloud for automotive is important because no single carmaker can build a cloud for IoT and make it useful.
The importance of a brain
Today, there are many systems on the road that offer you driver assistance. Most are unique systems that keep you in your lane or maybe help keep you at a safe distance from the car in front of you. But those systems are not connected to each other. They’re discrete and separate—and therefore limited.
Advanced driving will rely on a central brain:
- The brain will orchestrate the growing number of sensors being installed on cars and all the bits of information those sensors generate.
- The availability of sensors in vehicles will continue to increase every model year. With a central brain, the additional analytics can be performed.
Autonomous cars on the horizon
Advanced driving will be a stepping stone to autonomous driving in the not-too-distant future. A handful of automakers have already committed to introducing their first autonomous cars in just six years. Whether the supporting infrastructure can develop in this rapid timeframe remains to be seen.
I’ll be speaking more about advancements like these at OPEN Automotive ’14 in Gothenburg, Sweden, May 20, 2014, on the panel “Automotive Suppliers: Collaborate or Die.” See you there? Or follow me on Twitter: @Intel_Joel