Intel has announced that it intends to invest US$250 million in new ventures over the next two years to make autonomous driving a reality.

Speaking at the LA Auto Show’s AutoMobility conference, CEO Brian Krzanich used the company’s first presence at an automotive event to emphasise the importance of collaboration with the automotive market for the tech giant.

“The idea is to help fund issues like the open IoT innovation platforms, to fund startups that are trying to build security for this space, and to drive innovation and collaboration across the industry,” he said.

Krzanich said that Intel Capital will be coordinating investment efforts, and that the explosion of data from vehicles is one of the key drivers for this activity.

“If you take a look at the future and the data that’s going to be generated, and you think about the Internet and how it has grown up around people and people’s data, then you think about the immense amounts of data generated by cars, we see it as a massive opportunity,” he said.

Krzanich said that these investments will drive the development of technologies that push the boundaries of next-generation connectivity, communication, context awareness, deep learning, security, safety, and so on.

“Data becomes the new oil. It’s also going to create whole new industries, whole new ecosystems, and whole new opportunities around it,” he added.

Krzanich highlighted particular areas of interest for the company, including IoT innovation in transportation, areas where technology can directly mitigate risks while improving safety, mobility, and efficiency at a reduced cost, and companies that can harness the value of the data to improve reliability of automated driving systems.

Intel has already commenced development within the automotive space, having created a platform solution spanning hardware and software for Advanced Driver Assisted Systems (ADAS), software-defined cockpits, and the heavy compute capabilities required for the autonomous cars of the future.

Krzanich added that the work being conducted in areas such as vision processing, 5G, cloud, machine learning and security will also be brought to bear on the automotive industry, to develop innovative solutions.

He said that there are three challenges facing the automotive industry in terms of data – the size of the data sets, the intelligence development cycle to process data, and security.

“To overcome these challenges, manufacturers and suppliers must achieve scalability – they need a means to collaborate, share and learn without losing their competitive position,” he explained.

“[Intel] are committed to providing end-to-end solutions that drive insights and create value from data.”