When Intel decided to take a crack at its first keynote at an automotive event, it swung for the fences. The company’s CEO, Brian Krzanich, took the stage at the Los Angeles Auto Show‘s Automobility event this morning to announce that Intel Capital would be investing $250 million in autonomous driving over the next two years.
Technologies that will benefit from the investment include connectivity, context awareness, deep learning and security. The goal of autonomous cars is to improve safety by removing as much human error as possible, which requires the vehicles and their data to be safe and reliable.
Intel’s processing power itself comes into play with the amount of data required for autonomous driving. Krzanich pointed out that cars are already equipped with a variety of sensors, cameras and controllers that create, gather and transmit data. He said the automotive industry needs to be prepared for 4 terabytes of data being generated by every car every day.
The fact that Intel chose to make this announcement at the LA Auto Show’s press days highlights the massive crossover that’s happening between technology and transportation. Representatives of every major car manufacturer were at CES 2016, one of the biggest shows for consumer electronics. The North American Auto Show will debut Automobili-D, its tech-focused event in January 2017. And this is the first year of Automobility, the rebranded tech event at the LA Auto Show.
As cars become devices that we drive (or not) and devices become more integrated with our transportation experience across modes, including bike sharing and public transit, cross-pollination between tech companies and auto manufacturers is becoming more than the norm — it’s becoming a necessity.