Intel Invests in “Connected Cars,” Opens New Development Center in Germany

The world’s largest chipmaker wants to help bring the Internet to your car. Intel is plowing $100 million into a fund to invest in connected car technology via its new Intel Capital Connected Car Investment Fund, which will help bankroll development of technologies like in-vehicle infotainment systems, mobile connectivity systems, and advanced driver assistance systems.

The chipmaker also announced it would create a new Automotive Innovation and Product Development Center, expand Intel Labs Interaction and Experience Research in automotive, and create an academic outreach program.

With the proliferation of onboard electronics, connecting vehicles to mobile devices, the wireless Internet, and even other vehicles is seen as the next evolution of auto design. These technologies are already in use for everything from onboard telematics systems to collision avoidance systems, and even part of more forward-thinking projects like Google’s autonomous vehicles. New solutions could incorporate seamless Internet access in the vehicle, or even sensors that can tell when a driver is drowsy. Eventually, your car could access the cloud in order to gather data on road conditions from other vehicles and avoid traffic congestion.

The product development center in Karlsruhe, Germany, will focus on developing products and technologies for infotainment and telematics. The facility includes a secured car park, wireless and GPS development and testing facilities, and what the company describes as a “world-class engineering compute infrastructure.”

The academic program will also be hosted at the Karlsruhe site.

As for the investment fund, over the next five years, Intel Capital plans to invest in hardware, software and services companies that are developing “leading-edge ingredient technology and platform capabilities that support Intel’s focus areas in automotive.”

Source: Intel Capital

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