“By 2020, nobody shall be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo”.
Volvo Cars “Vision 2020” Mission Statement
Ever since Intel purchased McAfee on August 19th 2012 for US$7.68 billion dollars, Intel’s largest cash acquisition in its forty two (42) year history, Intel has focused more on security being baked into its products. Now McAfee, a Virus research arm of Intel, is doing research into virus attacks on Motor Vehicles.
This of course makes sense, as faster processor development and larger hard drives, now pushing into the purely SSD (Solid State Drive) realm in Smartphones, Tablets and External Storage media as I had earlier prognosticated in my ditty MacBook Air and FLASH-based Harddrives – The Quest for Instant On need real-time protection.
But with these larger hard-drives comes the difficulty of scanning them in under 2 hours, a wasted chore for many who cannot be bothered to regularly set their Antivirus software to scan their computer and slow down their system, preventing productive work from being done.
Intel’s purchase is strategic in this sense: buy McAfee and bake their technology into processors and write firmware and software that lives in the processor only. This as viruses, which are themselves programs, have to run through the processors in order to do their malicious worst. With Antivirus software that lives in Intel’s processors and scans for virus-like codes, Intel is using McAfee to develop true real time virus scanning as it pushes the development of faster processors and data transfer technology.
Intel’s clients in the Ultrabook world, a new Laptop standard that Intel supports, will be thrilled, especially Apple, as their popularity has attracted some “haters” [American Colloquial] who have now begun to target their products as noted in How to protect your Mac for Viruses, as apparently Macs can get viruses too.
Very necessary as Hard-drive spaces begin to push the 1TB realm and beyond and SSD Hard-drives demonstrate faster read/write times as their method of data access is not mechanical in nature. SSD’s are truly set to become big business also with the expansion of Cloud Computing and Cloud Storage as the US$1.375 billion deal brokered by Seagate Technology PLC and Samsung Electronics Co. on Tuesday April 19th 2011 as reported in Seagate – Samsung Swap Hard-Drive Assets – Profitable Cloudy Horizon.
Cars, specifically the All-Electric Vehicles as described in Chinese Crisis in Rare Earth Metals: Afghanistan is Silicon Valley’s Savior and The American Race towards Alternative Energy, are in effect very large programmable computers which usually have large internal Hard-drives on wheels. SSD’s are preferred, as they give faster response to driver queries while on the road, as well as not being susceptible to “bad sector” damage due to the rough ride and jarring on uneven roads.
Typical Hard-drive sizes for All-Electric Vehicles of 160GB are not unheard of, mainly to store:
- Engine Management Software
- Battery Monitoring and Charging
- Environmental Control
- AI (Artificial Intelligence) for Self driving Vehicles
That last bit should trouble those of you who do not like computers; AI can now drive your vehicles. This is even truer with All-Electric Vehicles, where EVERYTHING is controlled by an onboard computer.
The Technology is being tested even as the ink dries on this article by Swiss Automaker Volvo, makers of the safest Cars in the World, the Volvo S60 and Google, whose ambition is for Android to Take over the World as per my prediction in Apple’s Revolution: Android @ Home and IceCream Sandwich in 2015, Pinky and the Brain Style.
Volvo’s Vision 2020, which headlines my article, sums up Volvo’s obsession with safety, even to the point of Developing technology in their vehicles to detect pedestrians and automatically stop the vehicle from plowing down innocent humans. They’ve even developed a Pedestrian Airbag, which along with the above system, will be standard on all Volvo’s including the S60.
Volvo has also being doing researching into self driving vehicles, reminiscent of futuristic scenes in movies such as The 6thDay (2000) and Time Cop (1997) which show self-driving vehicles taking its occupants home. This is part of an EU (European Union) project which the Swiss automaker has a significant stake dubbed SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment). It’s ongoing as I type since May of 2012, to be my overly dramatic self. It involves one (1) self-driving truck and three (3) self-driving cars on 124 miles of Spanish Highway intermingling with unruly Spanish drivers!
SARTRE is funded by the following EU Agencies and automakers:
- EU (European Union)
- Ricardo UK, British engineering and technology developer
- Tecnalia Research & Innovation of Spain,
- Institut fur Kraftfahrzeuge Aachen of Germany
- SPTechnical Research Institute of Sweden
Meanwhile in the US of A, California-based Google has also been testing Self-driving cars since October 2010. They only just got a license in May 2012 from State authorities to test their vehicles in live traffic in the State of Nevada (Viva Las Vegas!) albeit all with an experimental slant when compared to the more professional SARTRE Project. Thus, knowing Google, this is for them another experimental venture, which they may get tired of eventually as they have done with many projects they have started and left in Beta.
It bears watching, as Google’s Ambitions to be the OS for everything from toaster ovens and Refrigerators to Motor Vehicles Entertainment systems means that a connected world where devices speak over Telecom Networks in M2M (Machine to Machine) Language is not too far-fetched as noted fearfully in The Internet of Things – Our AI’s State of Connectedness.
Sensors, cameras, Laser and Radio-based radar, accelerometers and GPS tied into the internet is what make all the above possible now. Coupled with the development of faster and faster and more energy efficient processor technology such as Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge from Intel, this is technology that is possible now, as in three (3) years time, rather than some futuristic movie set pie-in-the-sky dream.
So as the market for All-electric Vehicles shows signs of catching on with skeptical Americans looking for a second ride Intel’s reasoning is that they may be future targets for thieves, hence their early research into protecting such vehicles.
And with Oregon-based Porteon soon to set up shop in Jamaica to assemble All-Electric Vehicles as noted in Oregon-based Porteon to assemble All-Electric Vehicles in Jamaica – One By One, we may, like our North American Neighbors, choose to upgrade to an All-Electric Vehicles as our Next Vehicle of choice. Much in the same way the trend is towards Blackberry owners upgrading to smartphones as their next phone of choice as surmised in Apple iPhone boosts Jamaican smartphone usage as BB goes Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
After all, if you can’t be the go-to Processor for the Mobile world as persons go smartphones, Intel reasons, at least we’ll be the go-to Processor with McAfee Security baked in for All-Electric Vehicles as AI’s Project SARTRE hits the road!
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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.