Don't Forget a Massive Data SIM Alongside Your Self-driving Car

By Gary Cutlack on at

So here's a bit of a problem with the Internet of Everything and the cars of the future that will drive us about while we hunt for Pokemon and enjoy 4K films on our mobile phones from the back seat -- how are our cars going to chit-chat with the servers all day? They'll need a connection, of course, and may consume as much mobile internet at 3,000 people do each day.

That's according to a hey-wow-look-at-the-future presentation assembled by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, who was speaking at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. By Krzanich's numbers, the average person in the connected first world will consume around 1.5GB of data per day from about the year 2020, once the mobile internet's been stepped up into 5th gear and everything's a little more connected than it is now.

That's nothing compared with the needs of self-driving cars, though, as Krzanich says that just one car may end up generating some 4,000GB of data as it trundles about, reporting back masses of information about your driving style, potholes, cats it ran over to save wear and tear on the brakes, new versions of maps, drum & bass podcasts and more.

That sounds like quite a lot. An almost impossible amount of data, which has us worrying about the viability of self-driving cars in rural areas. Will they suddenly stop driving when they lose a data connection and the map buffer runs out and the road stops loading in? You'd better hope your hands aren't too far down your trousers when the signal disappears and the car metaphorically shrugs and gives you back the wheel to work out where the road goes yourself. [Intel via Mashable]

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