BMW, Intel and Mobileye to put driverless cars on the road this year

4 Jan 2017

40 BMW driverless cars sporting tech from Intel and Mobileye will hit the roads of Europe and the US later this year. Image: Roman.S-Photographer/Shutterstock

BMW has revealed that its alliance with Intel and Mobileye will result in 40 self-driving test cars hitting the road by the second half of this year.

At CES 2017 in Las Vegas, it emerged that the BMW 7 Series will employ cutting-edge Intel and Mobileye technologies during global trials starting in the US and Europe.

Since revealing a partnership last year, the companies have since developed a scalable architecture that can be adopted by other carmakers to pursue state-of-the-art car designs and differentiated brands.

This scales from individual key integrated modules to complete end-to-end solutions.

IT is all systems GO at CES 2017

At CES this week, Intel revealed its new Go solution for autonomous driving, combining its expertise in processors and FPGA technologies with a scalable development and compute platform for carmakers.

Intel’s Go platform scales from Atom to Xeon and utilises Arria FPGAs. Data centre technologies that support Intel Go include Intel Xeon and Intel Xeon Phi processors, as well as the Intel Nervana platform for artificial intelligence and deep machine learning required for autonomous driving.

As well as revealing the new Go platform for driverless vehicles, Intel also acquired a 15pc stake in Here, the mapping and location software firm formerly owned by Nokia, which is now co-owned by Audi, BMW and Daimler.

Mobileye will further collaborate with the BMW Group to develop the sensor fusion solution, creating a full model of the environment surrounding the vehicle, using input from vision, radar, and lidar sensors.

“Making autonomous driving a reality for our customers is the shared ambition behind our cooperation with Intel and Mobileye,” explained Klaus Fröhlich, member of the board of management for development at BMW AG.

“This partnership has all of the skills and talent necessary to overcome the enormous technological challenges ahead and commercialise self-driving vehicles.

“Therefore, we are already thinking in terms of scalability and welcome other companies – manufacturers, suppliers or technology companies – to participate and contribute to our autonomous platform.

“This year, our fleet of vehicles will already test this joint technology globally under real traffic conditions. This is a significant step towards the introduction of the BMW iNEXT in 2021, which will be the BMW Group’s first fully autonomous vehicle,” Fröhlich added.

BMW fleet on asphalt. Image: Roman.S-Photographer/Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years