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March 25, 2015

Intel Car PC at Cebit

Intel Installs a PC in a car

If there is anyone who wants to promote this technology its Intel. There are more than 300 million cars on the road, that outnumbers PCs. Having foresight and hearing the future ChaChing! involved with making this technology a must have, Intel wedged a PC into a MiniCooper. Now, the rectangle screen looks dumb in the round hole, we wont even mention the metaphor they seemingly missed in doing that but the concept is right. Lets get it in the car, lets use computers in cars like super laptops.

Where this all gets sticky is the 50 month paper to roll-off-assembly-line turn around that is STILL the standard for automakers. PCs have a 36 month useful life. Putting that in perspective, by the time a car is off the line, the PC designed for it might be 4 years old. That's about as useful as a bag of belly lint. There are cars that have been going through the cycle in 24 months which is encouraging but the solution might be in only making space for the standard form factors and installing systems that can be SIMPLY upgraded.

The article mentioned the danger of in-car computers becoming infected with a virus and hurting the car. Intel said that the in-car PC could be completely disconnected from the car. I don't think that will be the case. More and more sensors will connect up to the computer, allowing for complex route planning, efficiency monitoring, car health remote monitoring and the list goes on. In car viruses will be something to deal with in the future and cannot be ignored. Perhaps *nix is the suitable choice as it's nearly virus-proof. OSX is in that *nix family, it could come up quickly as the OS of choice. Where does that leave Windows and its partner Intel? Securing the Windows OS is a big issue right now and only closed versions of the OS built for specific purposes is somewhat secure. Longhorn, the next Windows juggernaut is on its way along with a new version of IE this fall. It needs to address and solve these issues before automakers look to MS for an in car PC platform. I will note that MS has had an automotive branch for about 8 years now so I find it hard to believe they are not looking to overcome these hurdles.

Posted by Lionel Felix at March 25, 2015 12:06 PM

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