BMW, Amazon co-develop data hub to boost innovation in the sector

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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The German luxury automobile maker, BMW has developed a data hub with the US-based technology firm, Amazon’s cloud computing division.

The co-creation of BMW and Amazon’s data hub reflects the increasing use of big data by companies, as they strive to boost their efficiency.

“We want to switch from gut-driven decisions to data-driven decisions. We have a few hundred data scientists at BMW, but the aim is to make the data accessible to everyone,” said Kai Demtroder, vice president of data transformation at BMW.

The BMW Group has been working to expand a company-wide data lake developed on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), named the cloud data hub, which can strengthen data to deliver innovation across its global businesses.

Mr. Demtroder said BMW’s cloud data hub has shown its strength when the COVID-19  began to affect auto production early this year, as the data from Amazon Web Services (AWS) aided the German carmaker to see which supplier plants had problems. With the pandemic crisis, it was known where all the data existed and how it can be immediately used to respond to the critical situation.

BMW and AWS have been working together since 2015 and have spent the last year and a half jointly developing the carmaker’s data hub.

The cloud data hub will enable BMW employees to have an in-depth access to AWS services including Amazon SageMaker which helps developers and data scientists build, train and deploy machine learning models quickly in the cloud.

The third-party partners of the company like car dealerships, suppliers and technology firms will also be allowed to contribute vehicle operating and maintenance data to the cloud data hub and benefit from insights driven by machine learning.

As part of the deal up to 5,000 BMW employees will be upskilled to use AWS technologies to better apply data and analytics in their roles and take full advantage of the latest cloud technologies.

The hub will use artificial intelligence and machine learning to forecast consumer demand for BMW vehicles so the automobile makers can order the right parts from suppliers and automatically check requirements to design new vehicles.

According to market research firm MarketsandMarkets, the global market for cloud storage services is projected to expand from $50.1 billion this year to $137.3 billion by 2025.

Last week, Canadian technology specialist BlackBerry and AWS stated that they had developed a cloud-based software platform to aid automakers and suppliers to standardize vehicle data.

Amazon web services

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, since its initiation in 2006. AWS offers over 175 fully featured services for computing, storage, databases, networking, analytics, robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) and many more.