Cars Will Soon Start Generating ‘An Ocean Of Data,’ Analyst Says

Sponsored Links

As vehicles start incorporating more sensors and interfacing with wireless networks, particularly as they move toward fully-automated operation, an “ocean of data” will result, said Barclays analyst Brian Johnson (not the one fromĀ AC/DC) in a note last Wednesday. Managing all this data will pose engineering challenges, but also provide new opportunities.

Johnson says that an autonomous vehicle loaded with cameras, LiDAR, and other sensors could theoretically generate up to 100 gigabytes per second. “Assuming the entire US fleet of vehicles (260mn vehicles) has a similar data generation, it would create an ocean of data,” he says “To put it in context, one hour’s worth of raw data across the entire US fleet would be ~5,800 exabytes in size.”

One exabyte is equal to one million terabytes. Fifty-eight hundred exabytes would likely be around 100 million times the amount of data contained in all books ever written (assuming Columbia Journalism Review had the math right in this article from 2008).

Sponsored Links

Johnson says that all this data will create challenges for management, storage, and analysis. At the same time, he says it will present new opportunities to provide data-driven, vehicle-related services like predicting vehicle maintenance needs, flagging warranty issues, and enabling self-driving cars.

And like everyone else, Ford is developing ways to put all that data to work. The automaker is already considered a leader in the autonomous-vehicle space, and is looking at other opportunities like crowdsourcing maps of local potholes, tracking and analyzing the routes of fleet vehicles, and even combining vehicle-generated data with information from other sources.

We don’t yet know all the myriad ways in which Ford might end up leveraging big data to improve transportation – but frankly, neither does Ford. The company’s “Smart Mobility” plan is still very much in the “throw things at the wall and see what sticks” phase. We’ll all just have to stay tuned.

Sponsored Links

(Source: CNBC)

Sponsored Links

Subscribe to Ford Authority
For around-the-clock Ford news coverage


We'll send you one email per day with the latest Ford updates.

It's totally free.

  • Want to see your Ford vehicle or build featured on Ford Authority? We welcome your submissions. See here for details. ×

Written by Aaron Brzozowski

Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

Sponsored Links

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Edsel Ford II, Henry Ford III Celebrate At 10th Anniversary ‘Shelby Bash’

Ford President Of The Americas Lists His Wishes For NAFTA Renegotiation