Tremendous growth in data, data moving to the edge, and the potential to completely change how we do things is nowhere more apparent than in the automotive industry! On April 13, over 300 people converged at Western Digital for the half-day Autonomous Vehicle meetup that was jointly organized by Autotech Council and Telecom Council. Car OEMs, Tier1 manufacturers and startups who are in the forefront of designing products and applications for autonomous future came together to share their visions and solutions for an industry that is undergoing enormous change, even disruption!
The Growth of Data
Data is exploding at an enormous rate, according to Mark Grace, senior vice president at Western Digital who kicked off the meetup. As our global population grows, so does the density of automobiles on the planet. Industry analysts estimate that we will produce 163 zettabytes of data by 2025. The automotive industry, with an estimated 1 terabyte of storage per car by 2022 , is a great example of the type of applications that will consume these huge amounts of data. Grace reflected on how technology is changing the lives of humankind in the transportation industry, with technology playing a key role.
Edge Computing Transforming Autonomous Cars
Speaking of the massive amounts of data generated by cars, Chris Bergey, vice president of product marketing at Western Digital, spoke to SiliconANGLE’s theCUBE during the event. Hear what he said to say about data processing moving to the edge in order to make quick decisions on the road.
Safety First and ADAS Today
One might think recent news about the unfortunate autonomous vehicle fatalities might be the “elephant in the room” and a topic to avoid. On the contrary, there was much discussion about the opportunities and responsibilities for the auto and tech industry to join hands and prevent future incidents.
A keynote speaker had a personal connection to her work: she lost a loved one to a car accident. Her organization, a prominent Silicon Valley company with an innovation center dedicated to autonomous driving, is moving the hype of ADAS to the reality of autonomy where autonomous vehicles can one day save lives. Gaining consumer trust for autonomous vehicles is a milestone the automotive industry must reach, just as it once did with seat belts and air bags.
Update on Autonomy
An automotive industry analyst presentation gave an update on the road to autonomy, possibly the biggest technology challenges of our time. He described four major trends changing the automotive industry: C.A.S.E – Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric.
Also addressing recent safety headlines, the speaker shared that nationwide deployment of just two ADAS technologies, lane departure warning and forward collision warning could reduce fatalities by 31%, which equates to 9,000 lives and $15B saved.
Changing Lanes: Updating the Automotive Supply Chain
A panel comprised of moderator Derek Kerton, Chairman of the Autotech Council; Oded Sagee of Western Digital, Trevor Pawl of Planet M, the state of Michigan’s initiative for mobility technologies; Steven Atneosen of XPT, a division of NIO, Shanghai’s electric car company; and Killian von Neumann-Cosel of global automotive supplier Brose, discussed the changing landscape of the automotive supply chain.
With more data than ever before residing within autonomous cars for systems such as telematics, voice recognition, augmented reality, drive recorders, V2V communications, and more, it will change the way we think about the necessary parts in the supply chain. New technologies such as smart mirrors, for example, will usher in new parts, and suppliers, that did not exist in the past. New methods of recognition enabled by artificial intelligence (AI) such as facial, voice, gesture, and even human emotions swings the door wide open to new automotive suppliers, parts and services.
Oded Sagee shared his thoughts on the evolving ecosystem: it’s early and a growth market. Suppliers need to cast their net wide until the true winners emerge. He predicts there will be consolidation, and buyers will desire modulization, but until the industry shakes out, it’s best for automakers to work with all players, traditional and new.
Automotive Startups Demo New Tech at Autotech Council Meetup
A number of new applications to support this brave new world of autonomous vehicles were on display for attendees to get a closer look at solutions from human emotion tracking to machine leaning for roads, new concepts in mass transit and deliveries and signal and sensor processing.
Propelmee – AI for self-driving cars detecting obstacles without 3D maps
RoadBotics – machine learning for roads
Next Future Transportation Inc. – a new mass transit concept demonstrated in Dubai
Eyeris – emotion recognition to detect driver and passenger alertness, emotion, temperature…
Udelv – self-driving delivery vehicle
Aglolux – safe and autonomous vision
Tensyr – machine learning
Innovation Integration – signal and sensor processing
CarVi – telematics
Rohde & Schwarz – automotive test solutions
Western Digital – NAND Flash designed for automotive, demonstrated in an oven to show reliability and the ability to withstand the environmental aspects of automotive
New this year was an outdoor display of autonomous vehicles and technologies. Attendees could sit in the driver’s seat and experience technologies of the future, such as the 360 degree view the car’s exterior cameras could show. Another had its trunk open, revealing the large server systems that capture and process the plethora of road data.
Automotive Innovation in Silicon Valley
You might ask why the Autotech Council is based in Silicon Valley. Co-sponsor Planet M, the state of Michigan’s initiative for mobility technologies, flew out from automotive-heavy Michigan to meet in this mecca of automotive startups. Just as Silicon Valley is at the center of automotive innovation, we at Western Digital are at the center of enabling innovation by creating environments for data to thrive.
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