Amazon offers new data tool it says could help carmakers prevent recalls, improve safety

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Amazon Web Services has launched a new cloud-based data service that it says could help automakers remotely diagnose issues in their vehicles to prevent recalls and improve safety, as well as manage related data.

Called AWS IoT FleetWise, the latest tool in the company’s newly branded AWS for Automotive portfolio of products and services for the transportation industry is being rolled out on Tuesday at Amazon.com’s annual re:Invent conference in Las Vegas.

FleetWise enables customers, including auto suppliers and transportation providers such as Lyft and Uber, to collect, organize and transfer vehicle data to the cloud, while standardizing different data formats to simplify data analysis, according to Mike Tzamaloukas, general manager of AWS for Automotive.

“As vehicles become more intelligent and advanced, the sheer amount of data produced from vehicles equipped with cameras, lidars and radars is growing exponentially,” Tzamaloukas said. FleetWise was developed to allow customers “to easily access fragmented data across the different fleet models and vehicle types,” he added.

FleetWise also was designed to complement data-driven services offered by automakers, including General Motors Co’s OnStar and Ford Motor Co’s Ford Pro Intelligence, he said.

The new service joins a broad range of in-vehicle and cloud-to-vehicle offerings from AWS for Automotive and 185 business partners, according to Dean Phillips, worldwide tech leader for the business unit.

With a greater focus on the industry’s growing shift to software-defined vehicles and systems, “we’re trying to make it simpler and easier for our customers to discover solutions to their problems,” he said, citing development of self-driving cars to “digital customer engagement,” including streamed services.

The AWS portfolio includes cloud-based computing, data storage, analytics and application development.

While Amazon does not break out the value of its automotive cloud services business, the company’s AWS unit continues to grow.

In 2020, AWS reported operating profit of $13.5 billion on sales of $45.4 billion, up 47 percent and 30 percent respectively from the previous year. Through the first nine months of 2021, despite the ongoing pandemic and global supply chain disruptions, AWS’ growth was even more robust: $13.2 billion in operating profit on $44.4 billion in sales, nearly matching its full-year 2020 results.

According to Synergy Research Group, more than 60 percent of the $45 billion in enterprise cloud services spending in the third quarter was funneled to three large tech companies: Alphabet Inc’s Google, with 10 percent, Microsoft, with 20 percent, and AWS with 33 percent.

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