Road meets cloud: Big data consortium to drive connected car future

11 Aug 2017

Image: Yatso/Shutterstock

Automotive Edge Computing Consortium to define the big data needs of a connected, self-driving car ecosystem. But will the idea have road?

Auto giant Toyota has joined forces with tech companies Intel and Ericsson as well as Japanese telecoms giant DoCoMo and auto parts maker Denso to form the Automotive Edge Computing Consortium (AECC).

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 data volume between vehicles and the cloud will reach 10 exabytes per month around 2025’

The move comes fresh on the heels of news that Intel plans to put more than 100 self-driving vehicles on roads that rely on cloud infrastructure.

That very infrastructure may well be defined by the standards set out by the AECC.

You say auto, I say data

“It is estimated that the data volume between vehicles and the cloud will reach 10 exabytes per month around 2025, approximately 10,000 times larger than the present volume,” Toyota said in a statement.

“This expected increase will trigger the need for new architectures of network and computing infrastructure to support distributed resources and topology-aware storage capacity. The architectures will be compliant with applicable standards, which requires collaboration on a local and global scale.”

The AECC will focus on increasing network capacity to accommodate automotive big data in a reasonable fashion between vehicles and the cloud, by means of edge computing and more efficient network design.

It 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.

The interesting thing will be how many other auto makers and tech firms join the consortium.

Apple, for example, is still something of an enigma when it comes to futuristic self-driving cars. Will Apple go it alone with high bandwidth, over-the-air cloud processing and machine learning, or will it find a way of overcoming its data security concerns to cooperate with others on the big data front?

The road is long. And there will be many a turn.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years