BMW AG has partnered Intel Corp. and Mobileye NV in a venture to venture to manufacture self-driving cars. BMW says there are plans to bring a fully autonomous car by 2021.
This announcement seems to have stemmed from the recent developments by tech firms in the autonomous car area. Tesla and other Silicon Valey companies are making significant inroads into the car industry. The companies are basically transforming a car into a computer on wheels. Intel sees an opportunity to enter the car chips market as powerful chips are required to process the vast amounts of data from the sensors.
BMW intends to use Mobileye’s systems for the vision. Mobileye primarily focuses on software used for object detection as cars move down the road. Currently, Mobileye is already providing solutions for a number of automakers, including BMW itself. They also provide maps based on data automatically collected by fleets of vehicles from the partnering companies.
This partnership is between industry bigwigs, each in their own industry. BMW is the largest luxury car maker. Intel is the largest maker of silicon. Mobileye is leading in the space of computer vision, and Tesla deploys this computer vision system as well.“Given the players involved, this will likely become the industry standard,” Arndt Ellinghorst, a London-based analyst for Evercore ISI, wrote in an e-mail. “Today could be transformational for individual mobility. Mark your calendar.”
These companies are convinced that autonomous driving will result in much safer driving. They have already set a roadmap that will see them progress from level one all the way to level five automation. At level five, there is no need for a human passenger at all, something Google is working on right now. The safety is however in question now, as Tesla recently recorded it’s first autopilot crash.