BMW has entered into a partnership with Mobileye and Intel in the hopes of producing an autonomous vehicle. If successful, the collaboration will result in a system capable of driving along major roads and inner city areas without the need for a human driver.
The high-profile trio, from the automotive, machine learning and technology and computer vision industries respectively, harbour ambitions to implement game-changing technologies in driving.
“Today marks an important milestone for the automotive industry as we enter a world of new mobility”, said Mobileye’s Co-Founder, Chairman and CTO Professor, Amnon Shashua, in a statement. “Together with BMW Group and Intel, Mobileye is laying the groundwork for the technology of future mobility that enables fully autonomous driving to become a reality within the next few years.”
A fully functional self-driving car represents a level of sophistication far and above anything on the road right now
The level of autonomy targeted by the three firms goes beyond what most others in the automotive industry are looking to achieve. The resulting technology should not only empower drivers to take their hands off the wheel, but to take an ‘eyes off’ (level three), ‘mind off’ (level four) and ultimately ‘driver off’ (level five) approach.
“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”, according to Intel’s CEO, Brian Krzanich. “This partnership between BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye will help us to quickly deliver on our vision to reinvent the driving experience. We bring a broad set of in-vehicle and cloud computing, connectivity, safety and security, and machine-learning assets to this collaboration enabling a truly end to end solution.”
Automakers have already realised partial automation technologies on the roads, although the technology for the time being is mostly restricted to cruise control and autopilot functionality. A fully functional self-driving car represents a level of sophistication far and above anything on the road right now, and is the end goal for many of the industry’s most innovative names.
BMW is already working alongside China’s Baidu to produce self-driving cars, although the ambition for its newest partnership goes beyond anything previously mentioned by the carmaker. Once completed, it could make driving both safer and more convenient, laying the groundwork for fleets of highly sophisticated and – crucially – unmanned vehicles.