Intel announces new investment $250M in autonomous driving

"Data is literally the new oil," Intel CEO CEO Brian Krzanich declares, announcing the investment at the LA Auto Show's AutoMobility conference.

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Intel Capital is making a new investment of more than $250 million into autonomous vehicles over the next two years, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced Tuesday at the LA Auto Show's AutoMobility conference.

"You could say oil is the key technology that allowed the automotive world we know today," Krzanich wrote in a blog post coinciding with the event. "When it comes to the car of the future and automated driving experiences, however, data is literally the new oil. Data has the potential to radically change the way we think about the driving experience."

Krzanich pointed to the several ways autonomous cars will collect data, such as cameras, radar, sonar, GPS, and LIDAR. It's projected each vehicle will generate around 4,000GB (4TB) of data a day.

To maximize the value of the data collected from vehicles, Krzanich said, the automotive industry will have to be equipped to handle the sheer size of the data sets, have the intelligence to process the data, and must be able to handle it securely. Intel's commitment, he said, is to "lead the next generation of computing transformations" and deliver the "end-to-end solutions" to make that happen.

Krzanich's appearance Tuesday marked the first time Intel has keynoted an automotive conference, but the chipmaker's interest in the industry has been abundantly clear for some time. In May, Intel acquired Itseez, a computer vision firm with an expertise in embedded and specialized hardware used in IoT market segments like automotive. The company also made investments to bolster specific automotive capabilities like functional safety and over-the-air software management.

Then, in July, Intel announced it was teaming up with BMW and Mobileye to deliver fully autonomous vehicles by 2021. In September, Intel joined a group of automotive manufacturers and networking equipment makers to from the 5G Automotive Association.

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