Cisco's contribution to the self-driving-future:
Cisco is the largest networking company in the world and is known for making products that transport data around the world. Its products are designed to transform how people connect, communicate, and collaborate. Of course it has found its place between the main players looking to bring the Cisco self-driving car on the market. More than just the eyes of a self-driving car, Cisco wants to be its mouth, its ears and its brain.
Cisco Systems has been interested in the internet of everything. For years. In the internet of everything, transportation could be one of the most drastically changing and most lucrative businesses around. As one of the first it started looking at the internet of the car. Being a networking company Cisco quickly expanded their contribution, connecting vehicles to other vehicles (V2V) and even agreed a partnership with car manufacturer Hyundai, in search of its very own Cisco self-driving car. In addition Cisco Systems occupies itself with other aspects of the business like quantitative survey data collection and qualitative studies, car lock security systems and anti-hacking studies.
The internet of everything
Before you leave for work your car will have updated a required software and security patch. When you step in your calls pulls your driver data from the cloud, automatically adjusting your seat, your mirrors and putting on your favorite radio station. While driving you actually prefer listening to the presentation you have prepared, but forgot on your laptop. Through the cars’ 5G connectivity and sync connection with your home computer, that is no longer a problem. You have arrived. Your car looks for the best parking possibilities and lets you pay the bill without even having to step out.
Cisco envisions the connected car as your favourite digital assistant throughout your day. The internet of things will make the car of the future an online device, syncing with your laptop, your phone, the internet. As amazing as all this sounds, it has little to do with the driverless car. Cisco’s next step is to connect the connected car with more than just the internet.
Except for merely adjusting your seat and downloading your presentations, a connected car can do a hell of a lot more. In 2013 Cisco stepped beyond car ‘entertainment’, gathering single minded companies and supervising the development of a secure network of connected cars. Together with Cohda Wireless, NXP, Bozello, etc it started putting pieces together of an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS). The system would introduce smart remote maintenance, in-vehicle networks, big data and analytics, and security technologies in the driverless car, at high speed (that is Cisco’s input).
Cohda Wireless specializes in Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I), building a network of communication between cars and (traffic) infrastructure, delivering a safe of smooth driverless circulation. NXP is a competitor to N-Videa and produces a wide range of internet of things-products, such as processors, NFC chips, sensors and automotive semiconductors. The company attracted a lot of spectators introducing their BlueBox, an off-the-shelf autonomous driving system promising level 4 automation on every possible car. The company's new BlueBox autonomous driving system could bring driverless cars to the road in just four years.
The link between V2V and connected cars not only improves passenger safety, imagine being able to drive 80 miles an hour through a thick fog, it will have positive implications on user experience. Imagine being able to find a parking space miles before you reach your destination. More interesting facts on V2v/IoT car implication here (start reading pg 13).
Partnership with Hyundai
The ADAS built together with Cohda Wireless and NXP was acquired in 2016 by South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai. The partnership followed a series of similar deals between automakers and tech groups looking to build future driving technologies. Prior to the Cisco-Hyundai merge, Toyota extended a partnership with the University of Michigan to build artificial intelligence (AI) systems for driverless cars. These two examples point out another current phenomenon; the bridging between Asian, European and US’ driverless development.
Following the global trend of decrease in car sales, usage and popularity, Hyundai has not been presenting the best sales figures in the last years. Just like all other car manufacturers it wants to make the car speak to the youngsters again, investing in the car cloud, in big data analytics and in creating a ‘high-performing computers on wheels’. The company wants its Cisco self-driving car ready to compete with the worlds’ best. On the actual design of the research, not much has been said.