Previous Blogs

May 2, 2017
The Hidden Value of Analog

April 28, 2017
Google’s Waymo Starts Driving Passengers

April 25, 2017
The Robotic Future

April 21, 2017
Sony Debuts New Pro Camera

April 18, 2017
Should Apple Build a Car?

April 14, 2017
PC Market Outlook Improving

April 11, 2017
Little Data Analytics

April 7, 2017
Facebook Debuts Free Version of Workplace Collaboration Tool

April 4, 2017
Samsung Building a Platform Without an OS

March 31, 2017
Microsoft Announces Windows 10 Creators Update Release Date

March 28, 2017
Augmented Reality Finally Delivers on 3D Promise

March 24, 2017
Intel Creates AI Organization

March 21, 2017
Chip Magic

March 17, 2017
Microsoft Unveils Teams Chat App

March 14, 2017
Computing on the Edge

March 7, 2017
Cars Need Digital Safety Standards Too

February 28, 2017
The Messy Path to 5G

February 24, 2017
AMD Launches Ryzen CPU

February 21, 2017
Rethinking Wearable Computing

February 17, 2017
Samsung Heir Arrest Unlikely to Impact Sales

February 14, 2017
Modern Workplaces Still More Vision Than Reality

February 10, 2017
Lenovo Develops Energy-Efficient Soldering Technology

February 7, 2017
The Missing Map from Silicon Valley to Main Street

January 31, 2017
The Network vs. The Computer

January 27, 2017
Facebook Adds Support For FIDO Security Keys

January 24, 2017
Voice Drives New Software Paradigm

January 20, 2017
Tesla Cleared of Fault in NHTSA Crash Probe

January 17, 2017
Inside the Mind of a Hacker

January 13, 2017
PC Shipments Stumble but Turnaround is Closer

January 10, 2017
Takeaways from CES 2017

January 3, 2017
Top 10 Tech Predictions for 2017

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TECHnalysis Research Blog

May 5, 2017
Intel Opens High-Tech Automotive “Garage”

By Bob O'Donnell

In an effort to show off their strong support of autonomous driving and other advanced automobile technology efforts, Intel held an international press event this week where they formally opened a high-tech “garage” that will serve as a key testing site for some of the company’s efforts for the car industry.

Located in a portion of a former Altera building (an FPGA chip company that Intel purchased last year), the Autonomous Drive Garage will house several different autonomous cars powered by Intel technology. During the event, Intel provided more details about its various efforts for automotive, highlighting it’s work within the vehicles, on the network connecting these vehicles, and in the data center offering services and updates to these cars.

The overarching key message from the day was that autonomous cars require a great deal of computing horsepower (of many types), generate a staggering 4 TB of data per day, and will be connected to fast (eventually 5G) networks at almost all times. In other words, cars are becoming the most advanced, and most demanding new computing client devices—hence the company’s interest.

As part of the event, the company also took some press and analysts on rides in a new autonomous-vehicle that included Intel silicon and software and other technologies from leading Tier 1 supplier Delphi. The retrofitted Audio SUV was unique in that the lidar and other critical camera and sensor technologies were reduced down to much smaller sizes and better integrated into the car’s design than other autonomous vehicles you may have seen. While they were clearly visible on close inspection, they did not stand out like they do on most other test vehicles. In other words, the design was much closer to what we will likely see when these technologies are integrated into production vehicles around 2020. (Though at an additional current cost of well over $10,000 for the included sensors, according to a company representative, they are still far from being mainstream.)

In addition to Intel processors and Delphi software, the car featured technology from MobileEye, a semiconductor company which Intel recently announced they plan to purchase. MobileEye’s technology processes the real-time data input from cameras in order to help create a digital view of objects around the car.

Riding in the car over the course of about 2 ½ miles was a pleasant experience, though it’s clear that there is a great deal of interpretation and personal preferences that go into details like how quickly (or not) a car should brake, how far behind other cars it can (or should) travel, etc. As the Delphi representative travelling inside the car pointed out, all of these types of parameters are programmable and will likely be at least somewhat adjustable when they advance to wider deployments.

The event and the brief drive clearly showed that great progress is being made on the technologies necessary for autonomous vehicles. At the same time, they also made it clear that there’s still much more work to be done.

Here's a link to the column:

Bob O’Donnell is the president and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research, LLC a market research firm that provides strategic consulting and market research services to the technology industry and professional financial community. You can follow him on Twitter @bobodtech.

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