IBM and auto supplier Continental announced an alliance designed to let carmakers link their vehicles to the network and therefore offer new services to customers.
Under the deal, IBM will supply back-end computing infrastructure that can process an immense volume of data streaming in from many cars, then process it so cars can know details about what's just ahead in real time, the companies announced Tuesday at the Frankfurt auto show.
"Anticipatory driving will be enhanced by Continental and IBM to develop a next generation 'electronic horizon' platform, which will ultimately make highly automated driving a reality," Continental said in a statement.
Highly automated driving is a step in the path toward self-driving cars, a technology Continental expects to arrive in 2020. The
The alliance embodies just about perfectly the marriage of the auto and computing industries, where each brings decades of experience to the match. Continental's partnership with IBM had been expected, but so far there's no word about a reported tie-up with Google, too.
In addition, the IBM technology will let carmakers deliver software updates to cars over the Internet so that people don't have to go into service stations for such updates to their cars' electronic systems.