Industry leaders in the self-driving car race have teamed up to create an ‘ecosystem’ to push the technology further.
Intel and Toyota, among others, announced this week that they have joined forces to create the Automotive Edge Computing Consortium.
The companies plan to share data to boost the creation of maps and improved driver assistance technology.
‘The objective of the consortium is to develop an ecosystem for connected cars to support emerging services such as intelligent driving, the creation of maps with real-time data and driving assistance based on cloud computing,’ the announcement reads.
Also joining the consortium are DENSO, Ericsson, Intel, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), and NTT DOCOMO.
Both Toyota InfoTechnology Center Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. are part of the group as well, and the group is looking to expand to include other firms as time goes on.
‘In the coming months, the aforementioned companies will initiate activities to invite relevant global technology leaders and expand the consortium,’ Toyota says.
Overall, the consortium will focus on increasing network capacity to accommodate automotive big data between vehicles and the cloud.
It’s estimated that the data volume between vehicles and the cloud will reach 10 exabytes per month around 2025, which is approximately 10,000 times larger than the present volume.
New architectures of network and computing structure will be necessary to handle the expected increase, and gathering several global companies to collaborate will be the best way to make sure the new architectures meet applicable standards.
The consortium will define requirements and develop use cases for emerging mobile devices with a particular focus on the automotive industry, bringing them to standards bodies, industry consortiums and solution providers.
It will also encourage the development of best practices for the distributed and layered computing approach recommended by the members.
Earlier this week, Intel announced plans for a fleet of self-driving cars following its completion of the purchase of Israeli autonomous technology firm Mobileye.
A day after closing the $15 billion deal to buy Mobileye, which specializes in driver-assistance systems, Intel said it will begin rolling out fully autonomous vehicles later this year for testing in Europe, Israel, and the US.
The fleet will eventually have more than 100 vehicles, according to Intel.
The testing in real-world conditions ‘provides immediate feedback and will accelerate delivery of technologies and solutions for highly and fully autonomous vehicles,’ said Mobileye co-founder Amnon Shashua, who is to run the unit for Intel.
‘Our goal is to develop autonomous vehicle technology that can be deployed anywhere.’
The Intel test fleet with include various types and makes of vehicles, and capitalize on Mobileye’s expertise in computer vision, mapping and sensing.
Intel, which has been expanding beyond its core of computer chipmaking, is keen for its technology to be an engine powering self-driving systems across the spectrum of vehicle makers.
‘We want to enable automakers to deliver driverless cars faster while reducing costs,’ Shashua said.
Intel said the vehicles would offer ‘level 4’ autonomy, which under industry standards represents a ‘high’ level of autonomy just below the fully automated level 5.
Most major automakers and several other technology firms have been stepping up efforts on autonomous driving in recent years, contending these systems will eliminate the vast majority of road accidents.
Apple has a testing permit in California.
German luxury carmaker Daimler and auto parts supplier Bosch have announced plans to work together to create completely driverless cars in the next few years.
US-based Tesla boasts that all its models are built with the hardware for self-driving in event regulators five the technology a green light.
US car rental giant Avis Budget earlier this year announced it will team up with Waymo on the self-driving cars being tested on Arizona roads.