General Motors' Automated Driving Technology in Cars By 2016, Says CEO

General Motors (GM) will release connected cars as well as cars that can be driven hands-free by 2016, chief executive Mary Barra announced.

GM's Cadillac CTS sedan will be equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle technology as standard, in two years' time. The car manufacturers will also roll out a 'Super Cruise' technology that will allow hands-free driving with lane following, speed control and braking functions. Barra did not reveal the name of the model.

It is hoped that the connected cars will improve traffic congestion and safety. However, Barra warned that the models can only communicate with similarly equipped vehicles. It would take time before it reaches critical mass and reach maximum effect, she told the Intelligent Transportation Society World Congress in Detroit on Sunday.

GM also confirmed the rumours that it is working on a system to monitor distracted or sleeping drivers during the conference.

"I'm convinced customers will embrace (vehicle-to-vehicle) and automated driving technologies for one simple reason: they are the answer to everyday problems that people want solved," Barra said.

Barra added that the US government should budget for automonous car funding in the next transportation bill, as the public benefits of machine-to-machine networks were just beginning to be realised.

The UK government announced driverless car funding to incentivise car manufacturers to team with UK cities to pilot the technology on our roads. It is hoped that testing will begin in January next year.

The automotive industry is working on several internet of things (IoT)and autonomous features now that consumers appear to be ready for the latest technology in their purchases.

Connected cars will open up new revenue streams for insurance companies as well as branding, advertising and urban planning opportunities.

But with increased connectivity, manufacturers have become aware of increased security vulnerabilities and security experts have warned that entire production chains will have to be overhauled to avoid potential hacking. The Home Office said that they are working with manufacturers to prevent car-related cyber crime last week.

Increasing connectivity will increase car manufacturers' data ten-fold

Automotive electronics produce up to 25 gigabytes of data an hour. It is expected to increase to 250 gigabytes as connectivity takes off, said MongoDB's principal product marketing manager Mat Keep.

He said: "GM's announcement that the 2017 Cadillac will feature vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology, allowing exchange of data with nearby vehicles concerning their direction, speed and location, warning drivers if they might collide - is exciting news for both the automotive and technology industry. With the introduction of V2V technology to the mainstream car market, the need to harvest, store, process and analyse data in new ways - at much higher volumes and speed becomes more important than ever before.

"This exponential growth in data requires a database which is considerably more flexible and agile than those traditionally used, and the importance of employing suitable database technology is not only something the connected car industry will have to recognise, but a trend that will impact the Internet of Things industry as a whole".

This story, "General Motors' Automated Driving Technology in Cars By 2016, Says CEO" was originally published by Computerworld UK.

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