Self-Driving EVs Could Overwhelm the Data Center Market. Can the Industry Respond?

By Jeff Johnston

February 17, 2022

Key Points

  • Auto manufacturers are making precedent-setting investments as they pivot away from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs). These investments are laying the ground work on the path to self-driving EVs.
  • Some of the obvious challenges to self-driving EV adoption are safety, social acceptance, and regulatory restrictions. But another major challenge is the impact these vehicles will have on the data center market.
  • Self-driving EVs are expected to generate unthinkable amounts of data that will have a profound impact on the markets for data center storage and computation.
  • While technology developments like efficient hyper-scale data centers and on-board processing may provide long-term solutions, there’s an enormous chasm today between the existing infrastructure and what is needed to support widespread adoption of self-driving EVs.
  • The amount of capital required to build the data center infrastructure for self-driving EVs is so massive that it begs the question: Without major technological advancements in compute and storage processes, will the industry be able to handle the deluge of data self-driving EVs will generate?

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