Intel to build and release a fleet of 100 autonomous cars in major milestone

10 Aug 2017

Intel sign. Image: drserg/Shutterstock

Major tech companies and car manufacturers are starting to actually build fleets of autonomous cars for testing, the latest being Intel.

Intel is set to expand its testing of autonomous cars from just a few vehicles, to a fleet of 100 that will travel to various cities across the US, Europe and Israel.

The Level 4 SAE vehicles – a standard of high automation, only one level behind full automation – are set to be deployed later this year.

Last March, Intel revealed it was paying $15.3bn to access Mobileye’s computer vision technology, describing the acquisition as merging “the intelligent eyes of the autonomous car with the intelligent brain that actually drives the car”.

This means that Mobileye’s computer vision, sensing, fusion, mapping and driving policy will work alongside Intel’s computing, data centre and 5G communication technologies to deliver a ‘car to cloud’ system.

In the hope of showing that the technology can work on multiple platforms, Intel said that the fleet will include multiple car brands and vehicle types.

‘Possible almost immediately’

“Delivering 100 test cars very quickly will demonstrate how this hybrid system can be adapted to meet customer needs,” said Amnon Shashua, soon-to-be senior vice-president of Intel and future CEO/CTO of Mobileye.

“Neither company could do this alone. Given resident skill sets within the two companies, a stand-alone fleet of test vehicles is possible almost immediately.”

He added: “Our goal is to develop autonomous vehicle technology that can be deployed anywhere, which means we need to test and train the vehicles in varying locations.”

This marks another milestone for Intel’s plans to be the dominant force in autonomous vehicles, having committed last year to spend $250m on its core technology over the space of two years.

Last month, the company’s quarterly report revealed that it was doing rather well, marking better-than-expected results for the second quarter of 2017 with profits of $2.8bn on revenues of $14.8bn.

Intel sign. Image: drserg/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic