Tech Watch/Feb. 2017
The Venn diagram of what constitutes an autonomous driving company continues to expand, as traditional OEMs and suppliers pair up with non-traditional tech firms, and vice versa. The following are just a few of the more notable pairings and potential technology off ramps:
There is no road ahead for autonomous driving without precise and continuously updated roadmaps; and Microsoft sees at least one route to that future by partnering with dashboard device and map maker TomTom. Microsoft announced the new partnership to integrate TomTom mapping systems—including its High Definition Map and RoadDNA technology for autonomous driving—into Microsoft Azure, a cloud computing platform. Theoretically, Azure could be available as a customizable platform for OEMs and suppliers.
The fruits of that partnership would assist developers in creating applications that sync products with locational awareness, a key aspect of the Internet of Things (IoT). Cars are one of those key Things.
“Intelligent cars could re-route away from accidents, recommend nearby restaurants and find commutes with good cell coverage for work calls. To increase safety and efficiency, data from road conditions, car sensors and driver behavior can inform predictive car maintenance,” Microsoft noted on its blog.
Microsoft sees mapping as more than roads, tunnels and bridges. Its goal is to create the next “world graph”, similar to Facebook’s people graph and LinkedIn’s professional graph, that weaves together just about everything from physical objects and their interconnected devices.
Denso Corp. and NEC Corp. said they would collaborate to develop artificially intelligent and IoT-based driver assistance, autonomous driving and manufacturing services. And the two companies say they’ll also work together to secure it all. NEC, an IT and networking tech firm, will assist Denso creating technology that anticipates hazards and are looking into ways to improve manufacturing via IoT. At the same time, the two businesses say the advent of IoT is creating even greater need for improved security—another focus of the collaboration.