By next year, vehicles from Nissan Motor Co. will be using Intel Corp. microprocessors for in-car information and entertainment systems. This will aid Intel in reducing its dependence on sales to computer makers. At the New York auto show, Nissan had previewed an Infiniti LE concept car that featured a dual-screen display powered by Intel’s Atom chip.
Intel CEO Paul Otellini said that the auto industry gives it a chance to diversify and go beyond the personal computer business, which is responsible for over 90% of revenue. Intel, which has ongoing deals with Daimler AG and BMW AG, is making strides to convince more automakers that sales will increase when the vehicles’ computing functions are given a boost.
In a statement, Ton Steenman, vice president of Intel’s intelligent systems group, said that it’s “very clear” that the industry is in a major transition process for the vehicle to offer a “much richer connectivity.”
Meanwhile, Andy Palmer, Nissan’s executive vice president in charge of Infiniti, said that Intel will hasten the launch and use of consumer electronics functions in vehicles. Palmer said that the progress of consumer electronics and smartphones is a lot faster than the usual pace of the last 80 years of developing a car for four years and then offering it in the market for six years but with a slight revision in the middle.
Nissan is working to split electronics for parts like the engine and brakes from the in-vehicle information systems. Palmer said that the consumers will soon be faced with a “battlefield” of automakers competing with innovations in electronic systems. Steenman explained that cars should have a better method in working with personal electronic devices like mobile phones and in connecting with services offered by remote computers via the Internet.