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Think Your Cellphone Uses a lot of Data? Report Claims Autonomous Cars Will Use 4,000 GB in one Day.

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【Summary】According to a report by Intel, one self-driving car will burn through approximately the same amount of data as 3,000 people.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Apr 18, 2017 10:30 AM PT
Think Your Cellphone Uses a lot of Data? Report Claims Autonomous Cars Will Use 4,000 GB in one Day.

Current unlimited cellphone plans cap data usage when users hit roughly 23 GB. While that sounds like a lot of time checking in on one's social media outlets and watching YouTube videos, it doesn't even begin to compare to the type of data that autonomous vehicles will use on a daily basis. With various pieces of equipment that include radar, sonar, and cameras, Intel, the tech company that recently became a major player in the autonomous segment by purchasing Mobileye, believes that driverless vehicles will use roughly 4,000 gigabyte (GB) of data a day. 

40 TB Of Data Over Eight Hours

To put that figure into perspective, the technology company estimates that every single self-driving car will burn through the same amount of data as 3,000 people. The large amount of data can be broken down by the vehicle's hardware, including: cameras that generate 20 to 60 MB/s, sonar 10 to 100 kB/s, radar upwards of 10 kB/s, LIDAR systems that will range between 10 to 70 MB/s, and GPS that runs at 50 kB/s. 

According to Network World, citing Intel CEO Brian Krzanich speaking at Automobility, self-driving cars will consume and generate approximately 40 terabytes (TB) of data for every eight hours of driving. If the vehicles was used more regularly, as Krzanich points out, going through 4,000 GB of data per day wouldn't be a difficult task. 

With the majority of automakers and companies currently looking to put autonomous cars onto the road, the figure becomes even more startling when one begins to look at the mass adoption of self-driving tech. A million autonomous cars will generate nearly 3 billion people's worth of data, said Krzanich. 

Cars And The Various Types of Data

Intel breaks down the data into three types of categories, including technical, crowdsourced, and personal data. The first kind, technical data, which is also known as "inside-out" data, comes from the vehicle's sensors when they interpret the differences between items on the road. When a self-driving car, for instance, detects a difference between a child or an animal, technical data is the outcome. 

The second group, crowdsourced data, or "outside-in" data, refers to data that an autonomous vehicles obtains from its surroundings. Examples for sources of outside-in data includes traffic, other vehicles, and sources, as Intel reports, that influence how the self-driving car gets from one point to another. The vehicle can even use crowdsourced data to alter its path. Instead of going from point A to point B, using the data it retrieves from outside sources can change course to get to point C. 

Lastly, personal data relates to how many passengers are in the vehicle, what music preferences each passenger has, and can even provide information on what stores the passengers prefer to shop at, reports Intel. The technology company also points towards wearables and various sensors inside the vehicle that can also be used to monitor behavior, as well as emotional and biometric status to increase passenger safety and security. 

As Intel points out, data will be the new "currency of the automotive world." This could pave the way towards two types of companies – ones that are working on coming out with self-driving tech and others that are looking to become data collectors like Delphi.

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