Driverless cars create data crunch

Driverless cars, as well as the advanced driver-assistance systems preceding their rollout, promise new levels of transportation freedom and safety but experts warn they also could create a crippling data crunch from the massive amounts of information generated during development and deployment.

“The work that is being done by the larger OEMs is unprecedented in this industry, in terms of the amount of data it is generating,” says Varun Chhabra, senior director, product marketing at Dell EMC. “Some of these figures are just staggering.”

For example, Twitter’s 270 million users produce about 100 GB of data per day. A single autonomous test vehicle produces about 30 TB per day, which is 3,000 times the scope of Twitter’s daily data.

Extrapolate those data figures over thousands of autonomous and ADAS prototypes tested every day by every major OEM and suppliers around the world, and the industry’s output of information from items such as fully adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping to full-blown Level 5 automation could fill traditional R&D computer servers to the gills.

But it is not just the sheer volume of data confronting the industry. It also is the rapidly expanding task of tagging the data, creating metadata for further use in soon-to-be-ubiquitous machine learning and artificial intelligence and making it searchable for additional R&D work down the road.

It is unclear whether data may be disposable, too. When your personal computer or device reaches it data limit, it is easy enough to make more space by deleting files. But in the new frontier of autonomy and ADAS, data may have to be stored perpetually to protect automakers and suppliers from potential legal action if the technology fails in the field. This article first appeared in WardsAuto.

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