Intel has reserved $100 million for investments in hardware, software and services companies that are focused on in-vehicle applications.
The company said that it plans on spending the money over the next four to five years to promote the "seamless connection between vehicles and any connected device, including mobile devices and sensors." Intel is the first IT company to offer an investment fund that is dedicated to automotive applications.
"Technology has become an integral component of everyday life, with consumers demanding uninterrupted access to the Internet and the constant flow of information, news, entertainment, and social media," said Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital and Intel executive vice president, in a prepared statement. "Automobiles must be able to provide these same consistent and engaging computing experiences, but in a safe manner."
According to Intel, the funding for new technologies goes hand in hand with its efforts to work with automakers and in-vehicle infotainment companies to come up with sophisticated in-car applications. Needless to say, Intel isn't giving away welfare. The company has been trying to establish itself as a chip supplier for the automotive industry, but has not been able to dent the dominant position of chip companies such as Freescale so far. Intel's business plan expects increasing chip sales every year and if investments in startups can help open the door for Intel, those $100 million may be well invested money.