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Intel socks away $100M for Connected Car Fund

Here's a stat for you: By 2014, cars will be in the top three fastest-growing segments for connected devices and streaming content. So it's not entirely surprising that Intel, which has continued to diversify its businesses in the last decade, is betting big on the connected car market.

To that end, the chipmaker has created the Intel Capital Connected Car Fund to invest in technologies and companies that advance in-car infotainment systems.

Intel already has partnerships with BMW, Hyundai, Kia, Toyota and a handful of Chinese manufacturers, but this new fund will primarily finance private and public software and hardware ventures. The key technologies Intel will be focusing on are everything from vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-smartphone and vehicle-to-infrastructure systems, along with speech and gesture recognition, social media integration and eye tracking. Geeky details in the press blast below the fold.
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Intel Capital to Invest in Future of Automotive Technology
  • Intel Capital creates a $100 million Intel Capital Connected Car Fund to accelerate technology innovation in the automotive industry.
  • Intel Capital Connected Car Fund targeted at technologies that will deliver new in-vehicle infotainment solutions, seamless mobile connectivity, compelling applications and advanced driver assistance systems.
  • By 2014, automobiles will be among the top three fastest-growing market segments for connected devices and Internet content.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. and KARLSRUHE/FELDKIRCHEN, Germany, Feb. 29, 2012 – Intel Capital today announced a $100 million investment fund to help accelerate innovation and the adoption of new technology and services in the automotive industry. Intel Capital is the first global technology investment organization headquartered in Silicon Valley to announce a dedicated focus on automotive technology innovation.

The Intel Capital Connected Car Fund will be invested globally over the next 4 to 5 years in hardware, software and services companies developing technologies to promote new, compelling in-vehicle applications and enable the seamless connection between vehicles and any connected device, including mobile devices and sensors.

"Technology has become an integral component of everyday life, with consumers demanding uninterrupted access to the Internet and the constant flow of information, news, entertainment, and social media," said Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital and Intel executive vice president. "Automobiles must be able to provide these same consistent and engaging computing experiences, but in a safe manner. The Intel Capital Connected Car Fund will drive the development of technologies to enhance the in-vehicle experience of the future."

The announcement is part of Intel's ongoing work with automakers and in-vehicle infotainment suppliers to help integrate advanced technologies into cars. Ultimately, the connected car will have the intelligence and context awareness to offer the right information, at the right time and in the right way to keep drivers and passengers informed, entertained and productive while maintaining optimal safety. Once the car becomes connected, it can also communicate with the cloud, the transportation infrastructure and even other vehicles to provide additional services such as advanced driver assistance and real-time traffic information to optimize the flow of traffic.

"The car is the ultimate mobile device," said Staci Palmer, general manager of Intel's Automotive Solutions Division. "By 2014, automobiles will be among the top three fastest-growing areas for connected devices and Internet content.¹ Intel's experience in developing personal computing, software, security and cloud computing technologies will bring a new level of innovation to the car to enhance the driving experience for both drivers and passengers."

To help realize that vision, areas of investment for the Intel Capital Connected Car Fund will include technologies that advance the next generation of in-vehicle infotainment, advanced driver assistance systems and seamless mobile connectivity. This includes new in-vehicle applications and development tools, next-generation ADAS technologies and multimodal capabilities such as speech recognition, gesture recognition and eye tracking optimized for the connected car.

In addition to the Intel Capital Connected Car Fund, Intel Corporation President and CEO Paul Otellini also announced today at an event in Karlsruhe, Germany the opening of a new global Automotive Innovation and Product Development Center, an academic outreach program focused on IVI and telematics, and expansion of Intel Labs Experience and Interaction Research in automotive.

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