Edge computing — also known as fog computing — is a data processing model that uses sensors and connected devices to transmit data to a nearby computing device for processing, instead of sending it back to the cloud or a remote data center. This model can offer users an alternative to cloud-based IoT data management, but it can also work in tandem with such systems, allowing users to reduce data transmission and cloud storage costs. And it’s becoming a more sought-after part of the wider IoT ecosystem — 40% of companies that provide IoT solutions reported that edge computing came up more in discussion with customers in 2017 than it did the year before, according to Business Insider Intelligence’s 2017 Global IoT Executive Survey.

In a series of three notes, Business Insider Intelligence examines how edge computing is improving data collection and processing for companies across industries. In the first installment, we focused on the healthcare industry, where providers are turning to edge computing solutions to secure and and more efficiently process the growing troves data they generate. In the second note, we delved into the seemingly paradoxical interest that telecommunications companies have in edge computing solutions and the steps they’re taking to bolster offerings. Finally, this third note will focus on the role of edge computing solutions in vehicles, and how these systems will be crucial in reducing logistics costs and enabling autonomous cars.

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Vehicles Are Morphing Into Large-Scale Computing Platforms

Vehicles are growing more complex with each new model and turning into full-scale computing platforms. A typical high-end passenger vehicle could feature $6,000 of computing equipment by 2022, according to IHS Markit. By 2021, semiconductors for the automotive sector alone will make up almost 10% of global fabrication, per IC Insights estimates. And software will be nearly a third [...]