Cruising through my neighborhood the other day it really began to dawn on me what Intel CEO Brian Krzanich means when he says that cars are the next smartphones. As a minivan full of kids whizzed past me on the way to soccer camp I noticed that everyone inside, young and old, was on a smartphone generating data. I chuckled to myself as I sipped my morning cup of joe, wondering just how much data those kids were burning through.
Incredible amounts of data generation will change the lives of every one of those young soccer players by the year 2020, when Krzanich says humans are projected to generate 1.5 gigabytes of data a day through social posting and other forms of human-to-human communication. That’s little more than a light tap to the data center though compared to the powerful punt of 1Gbps autonomous cars are slated to generate. Our current 4G infrastructure just isn’t capable of successfully managing that level of data processing. That’s where fifth generation technology, or 5G, comes into the picture.
Why 5G is so Fly
As a technologist working in the autonomous space, I’m seeing automakers—from BMW to Jaguar Land Rover—gearing up their vehicles with thousands of sensors, pulling data related to everything from vehicle location and external road conditions to brake usage and tire pressure. It’s 5G that will wirelessly transport secure sensor telemetry data back to the data center for improved performance down the road.
As mobile data traffic surges, connected vehicles will be among the billions (yes, billions) of connected devices competing for network bandwidth. To confidently deploy new features, autonomous driving scoring models, secure over-the-air software updates, and entertainment services, transportation providers will seek dedicated network slices with high Quality of Service and reduced end-to-end latency. The good news is that we’re already on the path to making that happen!
Intel’s Role in 5G
As the world moves to 5G, Intel is advancing the tech evolution with end-to-end solutions that will integrate intelligence across the network, from the data center to the connected device and throughout systems in between. Intel has established key global partnerships with telecom and automotive leaders, and together we will deliver integrated 5G prototype solutions to ensure network readiness and successful early rollouts.
We are starting with multiple cellular research prototypes and smart city proposals. We’re contributing to Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) to shape new standards, converge protocols, and align with equipment manufacturers. Finally, because 5G will be more pervasive than any previous generation of mobile technology, Intel will draw upon our expertise in end-to-end network security to guard personal data and ensure privacy.
Challenges on the Road to 5G-driven Autonomous Driving
Bringing fully automated vehicles to fruition is requiring several major components. First, in-vehicle computing that provides a high performance per watt. Second, a robust 5G connection that delivers low latency vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications, data-rich services and cloud apps to vehicles, users, and infrastructure. Third, a data center capable of supporting incredibly high amounts of data and memory-intensive deep learning models that continually retrain the vehicle. Fourth, an HMI that builds trust between passenger and vehicle and that is rooted in strong automotive security standards.
Finally, everything must be built upon a foundation of end-to-end security. I’m thrilled to be working for a team that is delving into to create secure experiences that span the vehicle, communications, and the data center.
The Future Looks Bright
When I wake up each day, I do so ready to embrace the future that we’re creating together. As we’ve seen, there’s a lot to be excited about. Some of our planet’s greatest minds are collaborating with world-renowned research teams, and employing some of the foremost experts in a broad range of technologies—from vehicle dynamics to semiconductor physics, door locks to data centers—we are preparing the industry for the amazing future of transportation and autonomy. The road ahead has never looked brighter!
To learn more about the road ahead for connected transportation, visit www.intel.com/automotive. For more on Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit intel.com/IoT, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.