According to a Moragn Stanley report, ‘Autonomous Cars – Self-Driving the New Auto Industry Paradigm’, Americans spend some 75 billion hours a year driving and self-driving vehicles could deliver $507 billion in annual productivity gains. The area has a lot of potential but the solutions will need to seamlessly deliver a combination of compute, connectivity, security, machine learning, human machine interfaces and functional safety.
Intel is adding new capabilities to its automotive portfolio like Yogitech’s functional safety and over-the-air software management. Another key requirement for self-driving cars is the ability to see and accurately interpret surroundings, and to support the same, there is a need of computer vision. Computer vision includes methods for acquiring, processing, analyzing and understanding images from the real world in order to make informed decisions and automate actions. Its technology is becoming critical for the future of smart and connected ‘things’ from autonomous vehicles, security systems, medical imaging among others.
Intel recently signed a definitive agreement to acquire Itseez, a company which is an expert in Computer Vision algorithms and implementations for embedded and specialized hardware. Itseez contributes software tuning and integration in many market-leading products shipping from cars to security systems and more. This acquisition will eventually help Intel to strive forward in IoT market segments like automotive and video, where the ability to electronically perceive and understand images paves the way for innovation and opportunity.
Itseez will become a key ingredient for Intel’s Internet of Things Group (IOTG) roadmap, and will help Intel’s customers create innovative deep-learning-based computer vision applications like autonomous driving, digital security and surveillance, and industrial inspection. Itseez is also a key contributor to computer vision standards initiatives including OpenCV and OpenVX. Together, the two companies will step up its contribution to both the standards, defining a technology bridge that helps the industry move more quickly to OpenVX-based products.
“As the Internet of Things evolves, we see three distinct phases emerging. The first is to make everyday objects smart – this is well underway with everything from smart toothbrushes to smart car seats now available. The second is to connect the unconnected, with new devices connecting to the cloud and enabling new revenue, services and savings. New devices like cars and watches are being designed with connectivity and intelligence built into the device. The third is just emerging when devices will require constant connectivity and will need the intelligence to make real-time decisions based on their surroundings,” says Davis.
He further adds that this is the ‘autonomous era’, and machine learning and computer vision will become critical for all kinds of machines – cars among them.