Self-driving cars will come with a wide range of sensors, creating machine-to-machine data at the rate of 1Gbyte per second, according to BigData-Startups.com founder Mark van Rijmenam. He also notes the sensors will provide greater opportunities to spot mechanical problems before they happen. "With the amount of cars worldwide to surpass one billion, it is almost unimaginable how much data will be created when Google's self-driving car will become common on the streets," Rijmenam says.
By 2020, there will be several autonomous vehicle offerings that consumers can buy at a reasonable price point, according to Gartner analyst Thilo Koslowski. If the 1-Gbyte per second prediction is accurate, self-driving cars would, on average, create about two petabytes of data per year. Future cars will have more infrared sensors, inexpensive video cameras, and laser-based radar to detect objects around them, according to Koslowski.
"The self-driving car from Google already is a true data creator," Rijmenam says. "It uses all that data to know where to drive and how fast to drive. It can even detect a new cigarette butt thrown on the ground and it then knows that a person might appear all of a sudden from behind a corner or car."
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