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Intel sees data as 'the new oil,' announces $250 million autonomous tech investment

Data is the new oil, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said in his keynote address at the L.A. Auto Show’s AutoMobility conference. Krzanich during his speech announced Intel Capital will invest more than $250 million to advance autonomous driving. The keynote was the first ever for Intel at an automotive conference, underscoring the attention Intel is directing to the auto tech market.

According to Krzanich, the average person generates 650 MB of data each day with PCs, mobile devices, and wearables. By 2020 the personal data generation is projected to increase to 1.5 GB daily. Autonomous cars, however, will produce the equivalent of nearly 3,000 people, Krzanich said, approximately 4 terabytes (4,000 GB). The data will be generated from onboard vehicle radar, sonar, GPS, and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) components, which he said will be “as essential to this new way of driving as pistons, rings, and engine blocks.”

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The technical data from a car’s sensors, which Krzanich called “inside-out” data, will all be directed toward the decisions the car makes about movement. In addition, “outside in” data such as traffic and road events will also factor in vehicle mobility. Inside-out and outside-in information will determine trip distance, direction, and time.

Personal data from passengers, including music preferences, brand and store preferences, individual behavior, focus, and emotional and biometric status gathered by in-car sensors and wearables, can all contribute to the passengers’ user experience while riding in autonomous vehicles.

Intel sees opportunity in all of the data associated with autonomous vehicles. Collecting, analyzing and deriving “actionable insights”  from vehicle and passenger data will be essential in developing autonomous vehicle technology and improving the passenger experience.