Subaru enlists IBM Watson to enhance connected cars

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Subaru is keen to improve its EyeSight safety system, and it may have a partner in IBM

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IBM Japan has teamed up with Subaru to investigate how its Watson Supercomputer could help improve the automaker's EyeSight driver assist technology. As well as developing a data analytics system, the two companies are keen to integrate cloud and artificial intelligence technologies, which bodes well for the ongoing development of autonomous, networked cars.

The benefits of networked autonomous vehicles were recently demonstrated by the European Truck Platooning Challenge, where teams of autonomous trucks made their way from their respective factories to Rotterdam.

As well as demonstrating the fact autonomous vehicles can effectively make long trips without causing the end of the world (shocking, we know), the trucks were able to maintain a gap of just 15 m (49 ft) and react to sudden braking manoeuvres in just 0.1 seconds thanks to a WiFi connection keeping them all linked.

Daimler has also invested in Car-to-X technology, which features in its latest E-Class. The system is able to share information between cars about accidents or traffic conditions, warning the driver before they actually reach the chaos to save time, fuel and money.

By investigating the use of cloud technology, Subaru and IBM are working towards the same "zero car accidents" goal as safety-focused companies like Volvo. Collecting accurate real-time information from sensors mounted around the car, and effectively integrating it with existing data, will allow the partnership to accelerate the development of active safety systems and autonomous driving technology.

The two companies have already collaborated on a system to quickly locate and analyze test images with the goal of improving development efficiency on complex active safety features.

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