Intel, the world-renowned computer chip maker, is preparing to make a massive investment in the automotive industry and specifically in the development of connected car technology. According to the firm, it will provide $100 million through the Intel Capital Connected Car Fund to help in the advancement of software, hardware and other services related to the improvement of in-car applications.
Staci Palmer, general manager of Intel’s Automotive Solutions Division, insists that the move simply makes good business sense.
Well, because analyst firm Gartner predicts that consumer vehicles will represent one of the fastest-growing markets for computer technology and Internet content in the next two years. That means Intel, which is the world’s leading semiconductor company, will want to be a major part of this rising market.
According to Intel’s Brian Wolf, managing director of Intel Capital, the company will use the fund to invest in firms that develop in-car technology that seamlessly integrate with other devices, such as smartphones. Areas of particular interest to Intel are vehicle-to-device communication, social media platform integration, and speech as well as gesture recognition.
The investments will be made in companies all over the world within a three-to-five year time span.
While Intel is relatively new to the automotive market, it has already reached agreements to work with several major car makers, including BMW, Kia, Hyundai, and Toyota.
According to Intel, it hopes the fund will arouse more interest in the growing connected car market. “The intention of this fund is to get the ecosystem going and other investors will join us along the way,” noted Intel Capital President, Arvind Sodhani.
“The Intel Capital Connected Car Fund will drive the development of technologies to enhance the in-vehicle experience of the future.”