Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 24, 2016
Yesterday I attended what for me was the highlight of the entire show so far; Keynote 8 of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona: "Qualcomm & MERCEDES AMG Petronas Formula One Team". The event was billed as a keynote speech by Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, but it turned out to be more of a "fireside chat". I live broadcast the panel via Periscope, which consisted of Derek Aberle (Qualcomm’s president), Lewis Hamilton (Formula One World Champion), and Paddy Lowe (Executive Director, Technical Mercedes AMG Petronas). The session was moderated by Nicki Shields, TV Presenter & Journalist for Formula E & CNN.
It started with a talk by Mr Aberle, who outlined how he thinks the automotive industry will develop over the next few years. He also shared his vision in terms of how Qualcomm will play an increasing role in the industry's future. Mr Aberle talked about forthcoming innovations such as parking spaces that will wireless charge your car while it's parked. He predicted that this will start to happen across many cities within the next 3-4 years. He also predicted that much smaller, lighter, and longer-lasting batteries will remove one of the biggest down-sides of electric car ownership - range anxiety.
He then went on to describe a network of autonomous vehicles that will use M2M communication to reduce congestion, accidents, and fatalities using Computer Vision, Machine Learning, and Sensor Fusion, while incorporating technologies such as LiDAR, 4/5G, and a new generation of super-fast processors.
Obviously Lewis Hamilton was strongly opposed to self-driving cars, but did wax lyrical about how innovations in wireless transfer technology have resulted in the drivers not having to spend time waiting for the engineers to copy data manually. Previously, data had to be collected via an on-board DAQ, so it could not be downloaded until cars arrived back in the pit garage. Lewis complained that this took ages between sessions whereas today, as the data is transmitted wirelessly in real-time, they don't have to wait any more, therefore time spent out on circuit is increased.
Clearly Lewis was there to have fun. He made a few amusing comments, including one that related to a rather rude term used by his engineers to describe a component, which actually made the female presenter shift rather awkwardly in her seat. If you are easily offended, it may be best not to watch the following video!
The other less controversial videos don't contain any expletives, but are equally entertaining.
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