Autonomous car: Toyota joins forces with Intel and Ericsson
Japanese car maker Toyota is joining forces with American chip maker Intel and Swedish telecom network specialist Ericsson to develop autonomous car technology based upon the ‘cloud’. The formation of a ‘Automotive Edge Computing Consortium’ with several other companies was announced on Thursday by Toyota.
It’s no surprise a number of other Japanese companies are taking part too, like automotive supplier Dentsu and telecom operator NTT Docomo. According to Toyota the goal is to develop a solution enabling autonomous cars to access data and services wireless in the cloud in real time.
10 billion gigabytes per month
Toyota estimates that by 2025 technology will have changed drastically with data rates exchanged by cars and remote servers to multiply by a factor of 10.000. The volume could reach a total of 10 exabytes (10 billion gigabytes) per month.
The last months the world saw a number of consortiums formed. BMW joined forces with Intel and its Israeli daughter Mobileye, specialist in sensors. It was enforced later with automotive suppliers Delphi and Continental. Last year Microsoft and Renault-Nissan announced working together on the subject.
No longer afraid
This kind of alliances show that car manufacturers who tended to prefer working on autonomous cars alone, buying up startups and hiring ICT staff, are no longer afraid to work together with the ICT giants. Although the risk that some day these can become competitors remains.
Intel has showed itself ‘indispensable’ by its own technology and with the acquisition of Mobileye. It just announced it will roll out 100 cars equipped with hard- and software for autonomous driving in the second half of this year.
Car makers realize they can’t do everything on their own. The agreements with graphic chip maker Nvidia, indispensable for self driving cars too, are a good example. It has signed contracts with Volvo, Toyota, Bosh and Audi so far.
Another major factor is a financial one. Investments in these technologies are colossal and by working together the financial risks are shared. Everybody believes in the autonomous car to come, but nobody can predict whether its success will be immediately.