BMW, Intel and Mobileye to introduce fully autonomous driving by 2021


At a press conference in Munich, Germany, the BMW Group, Intel, and Mobileye announced that they are joining forces to make self-driving vehicles and future mobility concepts become a reality, with the three companies collaborating to bring solutions for highly and fully automated driving into series production by 2021.

BMW’s iNEXT model will form the foundation of the partnership’s autonomous driving strategy and set the basis for fleets of fully autonomous vehicles, not only on highways, but also in urban environments, with the introduction of automated ridesharing services. The trio are convinced that automated driving technologies will make travel safer and easier. The goal of the collaboration is to develop future-proofed solutions that enable the drivers to not only take their hands off the steering wheel, but reach the so called ‘eyes off’ (level 3) and ultimately the ‘mind off’ (level 4) capabilities, transforming the driver’s in-car time into leisure or work activities. This level of autonomy would enable the vehicle, on a technical level, to achieve the final stage of traveling ‘driver off’ (level 5), without a human driver inside. The developments would establish the opportunity for self-driving fleets by 2021, and lay the foundation for entirely new business models in a connected, mobile world.

The three partners have expressed their commitment to strive for an industry standard and define an open platform for autonomous driving. The common platform will address level 3 to level 5 automated driving and will be made available to multiple car vendors and other industries that could benefit from autonomous machines and deep machine learning. The companies have agreed to a set of deliverables and milestones to deliver fully autonomous cars based on a common reference architecture. Near term, the companies will demonstrate an autonomous test drive with a highly automated driving (HAD) prototype. In 2017, the platform will extend to fleets with extended autonomous test drives.

“Today marks an important milestone for the automotive industry as we enter a world of new mobility. We are laying the groundwork for the technology of future mobility that enables fully autonomous driving to become a reality within the next few years,” said Mobileye’s co-founder and chairman, Professor Amnon Shashua. “The processing of sensor data will be deployed on our latest system-on-chip, the EyeQ5, and the collaborative development of fusion algorithms will be deployed on Intel computing platforms. In addition, our Road Experience Management (REM) technology will provide real-time precise localization and model the driving scene to essentially support fully autonomous driving.”

Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich, added, “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. This partnership 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.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).