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BMW partners with Intel & Mobileye to develop self-driving cars

BMW is collaborating with Intel and Mobileye to develop self-driving technology that will be used for BMW’s iNext autonomous electric vehicle. The driverless cars are set for a 2021 release and the technology will be developed as an open platform.bmw-mobileye-self-driving

Though the companies did not specify the amount invested in the project, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said that his company was assigning hundreds of people and investing several hundred million dollars for the project. The open platform self-driving technology would allow other car makers or ride-sharing companies to use it for their projects. For development of BMW’s iNext, Intel will dedicate its computer power expertise with artificial intelligence and Mobileye will contribute its advanced sensor tech into the car.

“We want to have a standard open platform that other companies will join,” said Harald Krüger, chairman of BMW’s board.

Intel hold its position as the top supplier of computer processors, but lags behind firms like Infineon Technologies and NXP Semiconductors who supply chips to the automotive industry. Intel aims to compete with them by dedicating several employees and by investing in this project. Mobileye, a company based in Jerusalem, is already the leading supplier of components to companies including Tesla Motors and General Motors. The company supplies cameras and software that maps the vehicles’ surroundings.

The three companies are not collaborating for the first time. BMW and Intel have partnered for 10 years while Mobileye has been supplying its sensors for cars since 2007. Intel acquired a company that develops machine vision technology called Itseez in May. The technology allows an autonomous vehicle to analyse the world around it by seeing its surroundings. Competitors like Mercedes Benz, Tesla Motors and others are planning to release improved version of self-driving cars before BMW’s planned release date. It remains to be seen if BMW can deliver a match for its rivals.

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