Addressing a gathering of automotive experts at the inaugural session of the Automobility conference in Detroit this week, Kathy Winter, the new general manager of the Automated Driving Solutions Division at Intel Corporation, spoke on the role of the internet of things (IoT) in reimagining transportation.
She was part of the panel “Design: The Car and the City” that examined the challenges and opportunities in the future of transportation and how it will affect cities. Panelists with backgrounds in technology, academia and transportation examined the topic through the lens of innovation, government regulations and human expression.
Winter, who previously led Delphi Automotive’s Electronics and Safety Division, pointed out that the growing demand for autonomous vehicles and smart cities will exponentially increase the complexity of computing that will be needed for end-to-end connected systems.
“For us at Intel, the key is not just the smart cars or smart things. It also requires connectivity to the data center or cloud – an “end to end” solution that must be flexible, capable of providing analytics, intelligence, and be cost-effective.”
She also explained that the reason we are talking about automated cars and connected cities at this point in time is because of Moore’s Law, which continues to drive the cost of computing and connectivity.
“If you look at the last 10 years, the cost of sensors has come down 2X; the cost of connectivity has dropped 40X; and the cost of computing has come down a whopping 60X. As a result, we’ve been able to deliver cost-effective technologies that are enabling the automated driving ecosystem.”
From a societal perspective, Winter acknowledged three drivers pushing the automated driving revolution:
- Caring for an aging population – enabling them the freedom of mobility even when their licenses have been taken away.
- Retooling industry’s carbon footprint – reducing our continued reliance on fossil fuels.
- Managing the urban boom – empowering city managers and governments struggling to keep up with challenges of rapid growth and urban sprawl.
Reinforcing the benefits of automated driving, Winter pointed out that the U.S. economy will be able to save $1.3 trillion from the implementation of fully autonomous vehicles, with $500 billion coming from productivity gains and $488 billion saved as a result of fewer accidents.
Other speakers who joined Winter on the panel included:
- Marta Nowak, professor of Architecture and Urban Design, UCLA, who spotlighted her work on the Hyperloop Transportation Project.
- Susan Zielinski, managing director of SMART (Sustainable Mobility & Accessibility Research & Transformation), University of Michigan, who addressed the work being done for sustainable transportation.
- David Lyon, partner, Pocketsquare Design, who shared his perspective on the importance of the user experience for tomorrow’s drivers.