Intel Announces "Cars Are Things" - with New Automotive Platform

Subject: General Tech | May 30, 2014 - 10:21 AM |
Tagged: SoC, linux, internet of things, Intel, automotive, automation, atom

Imagine: You get into the family car and it knows that it’s you, so it adjusts everything just the way you like it. You start driving and your GPS is superimposed over the road in real time from within your windshield, with virtual arrows pointing to your next turn. Kids play games on their touchscreen windows in the back, and everyone travels safely as their cars anticipate accidents...

Sound far-fetched? Work is already being done to make things like these a reality, and Intel has now announced their stake in the future of connected, and eventually autonomous, automobiles.

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Intel's new automotive computing platform

Ensuring that every device in our lives is always connected seems like the goal of many companies going forward, and the “Internet of Things” is a very real, and rapidly growing, part of the business world. Intel is no exception, and since cars are things (as I’ve been informed) it makes sense to look in this area as well, right? Well, Intel has announced development of their automotive initiative, with the overall goal to create safer - and eventually autonomous - cars. Doug Davis, Corporate VP, Internet of Things Group at Intel, hosted the online event, which began with a video depicting automotive travel in a fully connected world. It doesn’t seem that far away...

"We are combining our breadth of experience in consumer electronics and enterprise IT with a holistic automotive investment across product development, industry partnerships and groundbreaking research efforts,” Davis said. “Our goal is to fuel the evolution from convenience features available in the car today to enhanced safety features of tomorrow and eventually self-driving capabilities.”

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So how exactly does this work? The tangible element of Intel’s vision of connected, computer controlled vehicles begins with the In-Vehicle Solutions Platform which provides Intel silicon to automakers. And as it’s an “integrated solution” Intel points out that this should cut time and expense from the current, more complex methods employed in assembling automotive computer systems. Makes sense, since they are delivering a complete Intel Atom based system platform, powered by the E3800 processor. The OS is Tizen IVI ("automotive grade" Linux). A development kit was also announced, and there are already companies creating systems using this platform, according to Intel.

As to how this tech might translate into safer cars in the future, Davis referred to the “Smart infrastructure” concept: “We’re seeing the evolution of intelligence in highway cameras...the ability to recognize what is about to happen.” This information would then be put into a format that can be integrated into these “visionary” applications, and research into vehicle to vehicle communications to avoid accidents is underway. Davis said to “expect these technologies to emerge in the near future”.

Of course there’s something just a little bit creepy about everything in our lives being connected 24/7, and some of us are opposed to constant data collection. The other aspect of this announcement, the "Personal Vehicle Experience Research Project” uses anthropologic research - and lots of sensor data - to study how we operate our cars and what we do inside of them. This work is being done in the research and development stage at Intel, so nothing consumer-facing just yet to worry about.

This announcement demonstrates some interesting uses of small, low power, and always connected computing. But we are talking about the auto industry. These ideas won't be implemented overnight. Intel is already "inside" BMW, Infinity, Hyundai and KIA, so we'll see how adoption of these new initiatives goes in the near future.

Source: Intel

May 30, 2014 | 01:58 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I hate the idea that all cars in the future will have to be completely soulless kitchen appliances. The average FWD Family economy car? Sure. No reason for them not to be when they make up the majority of the market and are one of the main sources of pollution. Same with Trucks and SUVs. But luxury cars? Executive sedans? Grand Tourers? Sports cars? Why?

May 30, 2014 | 03:06 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So this will be a battery powered headless server device, that I can remote into from a tablet, or will it be just a router? the car better have a few of these, but I want a battery powered headless server, that can be carried like a laptop, but instead is paired with a tablet, the tablet acting as the monitor/Head and able to remote to tasks running on the mobile headless server. Better yet give the mobile server the ability to throttle its core/s back to run like a mobile/laptop processor when running on batteries, but make the CPU a hybrid Mobile/desktop SOC, so when it is plugged in, The SOC has the power of a mini desktop SKU. Make it in a form factor the 1 1/2 inches thick and able to fit a desktop(low power/low profile) discrete GPU in a replaceable module. Make the device able to host and stream to a minimum of 4 tablets each running its own virtual desktop, and give the entire setup, mini desktop/mobile mini headless server and tablet/s the ability to share computing resources as a wireless distributed computing platform.

make it so it can be docked into a car, or removed and operated from a hotel room, or other powered and non powered locations. Cars are things, but they are only things that people occupy part of the time, so why not have a device that can provide functionality in more than just one mode of transportation, or one place of accommodation(home, hotel, vacation timeshare, etc.). A device like this, able to stream games, run productivity applications, video, etc. to a group of linked tablets, In a from factor the size of an NUC or Mac Mini, and able to be carried with in coffee houses, business travel, conference centers, cars, trains, and planes, and with the ability to run remote desktops to at least 4 paired tablets/other devices, would sell. Expect your competition to make devices like this, because it is not all about soldering everything up and bolting it down, its about mobility with more than just the power of a Tablet.

May 30, 2014 | 03:52 PM - Posted by YTech

Sounds interesting. Some luxury vehicle already customizes some settings for you via voice. Not sure about video recognition.

Various displays on your windows and windshield is another story. They will probably be projected imagery due to various cost (replacement, mechanics, etc.) and various challenges (e.i. outside elements).

What I would like to see, is innovation with batteries. Look at locomotives that pulls various heavy cargo. They all run on diesel!

Look at wireless headset... the charges are only short term. You're lucky if it'll be able to be recharged after 1 year of usage.

Personally, I think this is all a marketing scam to invest less in improving the vehicle as a proper tool to a rubberied toy.

What's next? Nails that talks to you and reminds you how poorly you use a hammer and blame you for shattering the nail as there wasn't any investment made to the intergraty of it's structure.

Also, some area of the world, those additionnal features are seen as hazadous.
Again, great ideas, however not well implemented!

May 30, 2014 | 04:19 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

More like, hay you damn kids! stop your fidgeting! here take these damn rectangular pacifiers, and enjoy yourselves, and don't ask me "are we there Yet", look in up on the frickin are we there yet App!

May 31, 2014 | 02:12 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

NSA surely would love this.

October 21, 2014 | 04:09 PM - Posted by Car Doc (not verified)

I'm definitely interested in this idea... But there's also something very "I, Robot" about it too. On the one hand, it would be really convenient to have every single thing connected. On the other hand, is it REALLY necessary?

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