As the world’s cars become increasingly connected, generating an ocean of data relating to their performance, operation, and location, Ford reportedly foresees its data storage needs growing fifteenfold. While the company today needs some 13 petabytes (13 million gigabytes) of capacity, it expects it will have to house around 200 petabytes by 2025.
That’s because, as The Detroit News reports, the average rate at which cars generate new data will reach 1,957 gigabytes per hour by 2025, versus around 19 gigabytes today. That’s enough to fill about 122 base iPhones, the outlet says.
That data will serve a plethora of different uses. For instance, Ford has collected data on the driving habits of some 33,000 electrified-car owners (with their consent, of course) using its MyFord mobile app. That information will help in developing future electrified vehicles, Ford says, with data on charging habits and vehicle usage helping the company plan around customer needs.
There are also commercial applications for vehicle data; Ford CEO Jim Hackett said in May that he could foresee a time when traffic data and GPS data could be used together, working with a company like Starbucks, to inform consumers that, say, the location they’re heading to has a longer wait than another store nearby.
And of course, vast amounts of data will be required to enable the fully-autonomous cars of the future. Much of that will be stored locally within the vehicle itself, but Ford will undoubtedly collect information on performance, usage habits, and the like to help with further development.