BMW, Intel and Mobileye team up for self-driving cars

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By Larry Banks

BMW, Intel and Mobileye are set to team up to develop new technology aimed at putting self-driving cars on the road by 2021.

Carmakers are increasingly joining forces with tech firms using open technology standards, to take advantage of their expertise in machine learning and mapping, as they race against Silicon Valley firms like Google and Tesla to develop self-driving vehicles.

“Highly autonomous cars and everything they connect to will require powerful and reliable electronic brains to make them smart enough to navigate traffic and avoid accidents”, said Intel Chief Executive Brian Krzanich on Friday at a news conference announcing the alliance.

The three companies said their system will be available to multiple carmakers and they expect cars with fully-automated driving will be in mass production by 2021. It’s not yet known if other carmakers will join the alliance, said BMW Chief Executive Harald Krueger.

Today, cruise control systems already allow hands-off driving using cameras and computers to automatically brake, steer and accelerate at low speeds. However, drivers are required to be in control.

BMW, Intel and Mobileye aim to produce cars with even more automation – known as “eyes off”, “mind off”, and “driver off”. But this require lots more computing power and software, forcing carmakers to collaborate with technology specialists.

Both industries expect huge revenue opportunities for autonomous vehicles, although it’s not yet clear how many drivers will be comfortable with giving up control, and how quickly laws can be passed to allow such vehicles on the roads.

The three companies said they would demonstrate their technology in a prototype in the near future

SOURCE: Reuters.

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