The automotive and transportation industries are on the cusp of a major transformation – and Elaine Chao’s appointment as Secretary of Transportation is an exciting opportunity for industry and government to work together to foster U.S. leadership in self-driving cars and smart infrastructure.
Automakers around the globe, transportation companies and the community of suppliers and technologists have embraced the idea of vehicle automation to improve safety, efficiency and mobility. We all recognize that self-driving vehicles and the plethora of emerging mobility services will be here much faster than some projected just a couple of years ago. That’s why Secretary Chao’s commitment to advancements in transportation and private sector innovation, and her emphasis on public-private partnerships are so heartening.
In the summer of 2016, I was the only technologist invited to testify before the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee to explore how the Internet of Things (IoT) can bring U.S. transportation and infrastructure into the 21st century. I was part of small panel that included distinguished representatives from the transportation and the infrastructure industries – each with unique perspectives on various elements required to position the United States as a global leader in the rapidly evolving transportation market.
With the swearing in of Secretary Chao and the new Congress, Intel is looking forward to continuing that engagement and partnering with the government to revitalize and future-proof our infrastructure and update the nation’s public policies to reflect the speed of innovation. Updating American infrastructure implies a transformation in the way we approach urban and city planning. It will require millions of cameras and other sensors to improve safety and efficiency along our roads and highways, along with wireless chips embedded in traffic signals, street lights, parking meters and parking lots. All of these can capture, analyze and communicate real-time information with a new generation of cars, buses, trucks and other modes of transportation.
Press Kit: Autonomous Driving at Intel
Within the vehicle, unprecedented levels of technologies are already starting to make our cars smarter, safer and more efficient: Technologies like 5G – the next-generation of wireless connectivity – will enable the vehicle to quickly detect its surroundings, make safety decisions and communicate with other vehicles on the roads and with transportation infrastructure. Cars will also be able to share the information with the cloud where more data analysis will happen. All of this will require unparalleled computing power and security, and Intel has been pushing the boundaries of technology to deliver these hardware, software and security solutions. Whether it’s 5G or leading edge artificial intelligence (AI), we have been working aggressively with our industry partners to bring these cutting-edge innovations to the nation’s transportation system.
These transformational technology breakthroughs will mean exponential levels of productivity and vast positive societal impact for us as a human race. Imagine a doctor being able to securely receive and analyze a critically ill patient’s medical records while riding in a self-driving car to the hospital. Imagine an entrepreneur being able to conduct a business meeting via video conference with someone across the country or even across the world, while still on the go.
Autonomous driving is set to revolutionize the way we live. Self-driving vehicles will save lives, empower our aging and disabled population with new levels of mobility, reduce traffic congestion and increase efficiencies in our transportation system and businesses around the world. With such monumental societal benefits at stake, Intel looks forward to partnering with Secretary Chao and the Department of Transportation, the White House and Congress to drive public policies that will help America lead the world in transportation and infrastructure innovation.
Doug Davis is senior vice president and manager of the Automated Driving Group at Intel Corporation.