Driving toward Autonomy: Introducing the iNAND® 7250A for Connected and Self-Driving Cars

Driving toward Autonomy: Introducing the iNAND® 7250A for Connected and Self-Driving Cars

The autonomous car for every citizen is closer than we think.

As we celebrate the 90th anniversary of mass-produced cars rolling off the assembly line in 1927, we’re in the midst of another revolution – the age of #AutonomousVehicles!

When automobiles were produced in volume on assembly lines with completely interchangeable parts, they were finally available to the middle class at an affordable price. It revolutionized transportation, allowed more people to travel further distances, and fundamentally reshaped society.

Similarly, as today’s automobile OEMs race to market with increasing levels of autonomous capabilities, when will fully self-driving cars be a reality for the masses? When will you own an autonomous car?

How will it change your world?

The Connected Car Today

It’s already happening today with the Connected Car. Many new cars are equipped with functionality like Bluetooth® that connects drivers to their mobile devices, graphical navigation that pinpoints their location and destination, sensors, graphical digital dashboards, keyless ignition and more that are connected over a wireless network. And that’s just the beginning.

Why Storage Matters in the Car

Transportation as we know it is moving quickly to a new world of self-driving cars with various data systems and those systems all have storage needs. You may remember an old cartoon with flying cars, it’s like that, short of flying through the air. The autonomous cars of tomorrow will require storage for the following:

  • High definition mapping
  • Infotainment/navigation
  • Digital clusters
  • Telematics gateways
  • V2V and V2I communications
  • Accident recording and more

It is estimated that by 2022 a single car will have up to 1 terabyte of storage!* Drivers will be able to sit back and relax while the car does all the driving. But for these “smart” cars to be successful, this ecosystem of data systems will have to talk to one another.

Introducing the iNAND 7250A for Automotive

Western Digital today introduced our most advanced automotive grade solution to date, designed to support the growing demand of data storage solutions for safety, driver assist and advanced infotainment systems.

The iNAND 7250A embedded storage device leverages flash storage technology for superior reliability that is compliant with with the automotive industry’s AEC-Q100 (Grade 2 and Grade 3) standards to deliver capacity and performance in extreme conditions, including ambient temperatures down to -40°C and up 105°C. This makes it ideal for a wide range of connected automotive systems, even in extreme environmental conditions, and the high thermal temperatures often generated by autonomous driving computing devices and systems in the car.

All the software needed to run the various applications and the data that’s been generated by multiple sensors placed throughout an autonomous vehicle has to be captured, stored, analyzed and communicated and eventually kept somewhere – and the best place is NAND Flash storage. NAND Flash has proven to operate reliably in the extreme environments associated with driving (with the wide variations in temperature, humidity, and vibration). It also provides significant storage capacity in a minimal physical footprint, which is critical when physical space is at a premium.

Current autonomous drive pilot programs around the world include tens of terabytes of storage in each vehicle. As pilot programs evolve into production, the amount of storage packed into a vehicle may decrease, but perhaps not. The history of application development and data consumption is one that shows a steady increase in the demand for storage, so autonomous vehicles in the future may be configured with even more storage.

Western Digital is one of the world’s leading storage providers.  For over four decades, our history has connected us across all of the industries that are going to make the #AutonomousVehicle possible. Through the SanDisk® brand, millions of Western Digital automotive products have been used and we continue to be a leader and innovator in this space. Our automotive products are designed and built in-house to meet automotive requirements with high quality and reliability so your autonomous drive will keep you safe around every corner.

Find out more about our Automotive solutions.

*Based on internal estimates

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