Intel Invests $250M in Autonomous Driving

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Intel CEO Brian Krzanich on Tuesday announced a $250 million investment in self-driving cars.

During a keynote speech at the LA Auto Show's Automobility conference, the company revealed plans to "make fully autonomous driving a reality."

"These investments will drive the development of technologies that push the boundaries on next-generation connectivity, communication, context awareness, deep learning, security, safety, and more," Intel said in a press release.

The firm's investment arm, Intel Capital, plans to spend more than $250 million over the next two years—specifically on the Internet of Things (IoT) as it relates to transportation and technology that can minimize risk while improving efficiency. Intel is also looking at organizations that use data to make automated driving systems more reliable.

At the heart of autonomous driving is the ability of the car to see, interpret, and act on everything around it. That requires cameras, radar, sonar, GPS, and LIDAR—each of which generate kilobytes of data every second.

"Just as oil has transformed our world over the last century, data is poised to transform our world for the next hundred years—and beyond," Krzanich (pictured) wrote in an Intel editorial. "Data is truly the new currency of the automotive world."

During Tuesday's conference, Krzanich warned the crowd of automotive and tech representatives of a "data deluge" expected from autonomous cars. A single vehicle, he explained, can produce some 4 terabytes of information a day just from embedded sensors and systems.

"Data has the potential to radically change the way we think about the driving experience: as consumers, as automakers, as technologists, and as citizens of our communities," Krzanich said.

This week's announcement is part of Intel's ongoing work with automakers and system suppliers to help integrate advanced technologies into cars.

In September, Intel joined the 5G Automotive Association in a bid to define how next-generation cellular networks will talk to connected vehicles.

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