Car companies are now cloud companies: BMW to have 10M connected cars in 5 years

There are around 3 million vehicles that are directly connected to BMW’s data centers, said BMW’s VP of IT Infrastructure Mario Mueller at GigaOM’s Structure Europe conference in London on Wednesday. That number will grow to 10 million connected vehicles by 2018, meaning BMW will increasingly be operating as an IT and cloud-focused company,

And it’s not just that more cars will get connected. Once cars are connected, the bandwidth needs and the data queries will explode. In 2012, when there were 1 million BMW vehicles connected, there were 1 million requests per day and a volume of 600 MB of data per day. But by 2013, with 2.5 million vehicles connected, those data queries jumped to 12 million requests per day, and 40 GB of data per day.

By 2018, with 10 million vehicles connected, there were will be some 100 million requests per day and 1TB of data volume per day, estimates Mueller. That’s a massive amount of data that BMW will have to manage.

With BMW’s push into electric cars — which the recent launch of its i3¬†shows– the company’s cars will be offering even more digital, connected data services, like the ability to warm up the car remotely, or manage the charging time of the battery. But even without electric cars, BMW is clearly betting heavily on connectivity: More than 90 percent of our cars will have connectivity built into them, said Mueller.

Check out the rest of our Structure:Europe 2013 live coverage here, and a video embed of the session follows below:

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A transcription of the video follows on the next page