Technology pushes Technology: How smart cars will revolutionise several industries

Ever since cars replaced horse-drawn carriages as the transport of choice, their evolution has been heavily interwoven with technological advancements. No matter if we talk about the use of new materials like carbon fibre or new technology such as LED, the car industry has always been one to embrace new tech. And they are already onto the next big thing …

In times where more and more devices, from our TV sets all the way to our refrigerators, are getting smart, our cars are far from falling behind. In fact, cars are continuously moving away from being mere means of transportation and are transforming into smartphones on wheels – only better.

This is exceptionally noticeable at Tesla. One may think about the company and its current quarrels as one likes, but the Tesla Model S disrupted the entire car industry for good when it was introduced back in 2012. Out of nowhere suddenly there was a car that not only got rid of combustion engines and still offered staggering performance and decent driving ranges, but also acted much “smarter” than any other vehicle available at the time. Through a totally connected and electronically controlled architecture it could even be updated wirelessly and “learn” new features while parking, such as driving all by itself – something that has been pursued intently in the industry since. Wherever you look, Volvo, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen including all its brands, and even Google and Uber are developing autonomous cars. Their goal: revolutionising tomorrow’s mobility.

But technological advancements for our mobility do not stop with the cars themselves. Here’s where the internet of things (IoT) enters the arena. As cars become more communicative and start exchanging data not only with each other but also with their surroundings, new possibilities for smart cities and services arise. In France for example, the historic city of Montpellier (where a large Dell EMC site is located) has installed IoT devices to help people out by transmitting the location of free parking spaces to their satnavs. As a result, they spend less time searching for a parking space, which not only helps them save time and fuel, but also reduces both pollution and congestion and gives them and our employees more time to simply enjoy this amazing city.

Connected cars also enable the insurance industry to rethink their way of creating products and interacting with their customers. Back in November 2017, Toyota and the MS&AD Insurance Group’s Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co., Ltd. have jointly developed Japan’s first driving behaviour-based telematics automobile insurance. Here, safe driving, recognised by the smart and connected car itself, will be rewarded with lower insurance premiums, a trend which is likely to be widely adopted in the entire insurance industry very soon.

Fact is: the already mentioned term “tomorrow’s mobility” cannot grow in the isolation of the car industry. By 2025, connected vehicles will grow to 100 million cars globally, and transmit over 100 petabytes of data to the cloud per month. By 2025, future automotive services will even require 10 exabytes per month. So, the current cloud computing model will find itself challenged and thus push the emergence of Edge Computing. We will see a new generation of AI-enabled data centres appear, equipped with new hardware and software architectures where persistent memory and compute acceleration will enable large-scale, real-time analytics and machine intelligence, and computing and storage at the edge will be optimised to work seamlessly as an extension of the overall IT system. What’s more: we will see AI in cars become more mainstream to meet the complexity of connected car workloads and offer new services like personal assistants (think Alexa, Siri, etc.). Code and data, software updates and high-resolution maps will require a new approach, one that will leverage cloud-native, microservices, dynamic policy allocation and formal methods for software assurance and security. After all, we will see autonomous vehicles becoming a new breed of mobile computing platform.

And we at Dell Technologies are of course again at the forefront of all of this. Not long ago, we joined the Automotive Edge Computing Consortium (AECC) in support of its mission to evolve network architectures and computing infrastructures to make managing automotive big data smarter and more efficient. Together, we focus our efforts on developing use cases and requirements for connected services for emerging devices. At the same time, we are also preparing architectures for next-gen mobile networks and cloud solutions that are suitable for automotive-oriented use cases. We believe that it takes industry partnerships like this one to ensure that our challenges are addressed and innovative infrastructure systems are delivered to enable the future.

If you would like to know more about how the ongoing connection of our world can benefit your business today, check out our Connected Series for further information about what we can do for you:

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