Why autonomous vehicles will rely on edge computing and not the cloud

To understand why, let’s consider the notion of autonomy. Autonomy is defined as ‘independence or freedom, as of the will or one’s actions’. Can you be autonomous, when relying on someone else’s computer? Not really.

Yes, there is redundancy, and yes, there may even be SLAs in place. But when all is said and done, using the cloud means you are connecting to someone else’s computer, usually over the internet. When you are in a moving vehicle, and this vehicle relies on cloud-based compute for its essential functions, what happens if you run into connectivity issues?

This is not the same as a lag in loading your favorite cat pictures. A lag in a moving vehicle scenario is a matter of life and death. So what can be done in situations like these? Enter edge computing.

Edge computing is the notion of having compute as close to the data as possible, in scenarios where data is generated outside of the data center. What this translates to in real life is very small, prefabricated data centers.