Autonomous vehicles could easily overwhelm the current

DENVER, Feb. 17 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Automakers are making unprecedented investments in electric vehicles (EVs) in response to consumer demand and climate trends. These investments lay the groundwork for more self-driving or self-driving vehicles, as the growth of the electric vehicle market is an important leading indicator for self-driving technology.

Widespread adoption of autonomous electric vehicles faces several significant hurdles, including social acceptance, safety, and regulatory restrictions. But according to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange, another major challenge that is often overlooked is the monumental impact these vehicles will have on the data center market.

“Autonomous vehicles are expected to generate unimaginable amounts of data that will have a profound impact on the data center storage and compute markets,” said Jeff Johnston, chief communications economist at CoBank. “And there’s a huge gap between the existing digital infrastructure and what’s needed to support the widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles.”

Without major technological advances in computing and data storage processes, the industry is unlikely to be able to handle the deluge of data that autonomous electric vehicles will generate, Johnston added.

The anticipated impact that the widespread adoption of self-driving electric vehicles would have on data centers is staggering. According to the Automotive Edge Computing Consortium (AECC), autonomous electric vehicles could eventually need to offload up to 5,000 gigabytes of data per hour of operation. To put that into perspective, in 2020 the average person in the world generated around 150 gigabytes per day.

Holon Investments estimates that the global fleet of autonomous vehicles could reach 400 million by 2035. Extrapolating these numbers implies that the annual global datasphere will grow from 64 zettabytes in 2020 to 10,000 to 15,000 zettabytes in 2035, nothing than from autonomous vehicles.

A sudden shift to driverless cars is unlikely. The most likely scenario is gradual adoption as automakers move up the autonomous driving ladder (1-5), starting with commercial applications before moving into consumer use.

However, some local jurisdictions are beginning to allow limited use of self-driving technologies for ride-sharing services. Las Vegas announced that starting this year, it will allow Lyft and Motional to roll out a limited fleet of self-driving, driverless taxis with a full-fledged commercial launch slated for 2023. And Tesla CEO Elon Musk said indicated that he expects Tesla to achieve Level 4 autonomy this year.

“We still have a long way to go before autonomous electric vehicles are widely adopted, and the technology will be very different when that happens,” Johnston said. “But even if current estimates are high, the industry is likely to face major challenges in how data is stored and processed.”

Watch a video synopsis and read the report, Autonomous Electric Vehicles Could Overwhelm the Data Center Market. Can the industry respond?

About CoBank

CoBank is a $155 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural electricity, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated agricultural credit associations serving more than 75,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states nationwide.

CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a national network of banks and retail lending associations licensed to serve the borrowing needs of agriculture, rural infrastructure and rural American communities. Based out of Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the United States and has an international representative office in Singapore.


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