BMW Group, Intel and computer vision maker Mobileye today announced they will collaborate to create a fleet of about 40 autonomous BMW vehicles that will hit U.S. and European roads by the second half of 2017.
The pilot project is aimed at demonstrating advances the three companies have made in technology that enables fully self-driving vehicles.
The BMW 7 Series will be used as the initial platform for Intel processor and Mobileye computer vision technology during the global trials.
Mobileye, an Israeli technology company, is a leader in developing both software and proprietary computer chip technology (EyeQ) to support vision-based advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that provide warnings for collision prevention and mitigation.
Mobileye has also partnered with other automakers and multi-billion-dollar tier 1 auto parts maker Delphi to supply its technology to the industry.
Mobileye and Delphi plan to demonstrate their "Central Sensing Localization and Planning" (CSLP) platform for self-driving cars in urban and highway driving conditions during the Consumer Electronics Show taking place now in Las Vegas. They plan to start production in 2019.
In July, BMW, Intel and Mobileye announced a development partnership that BMW said would result in a completely autonomous car called iNEXT, suited for both city streets and highways, by 2021.
Like Google with its autonomous vehicle technology, the three firms have developed a scalable architecture that can be adopted by other automotive developers and carmakers to create differentiated brands. The offerings scale from individual key integrated modules to a complete end-to-end autonomous system that provides "a wide range of differentiated consumer experiences."
BMW believes self-driving cars will be widely used in ride-hailing services such as Uber, which has already deployed a self-driving test car in Pittsburgh.
In related news, Intel announced Intel GO In-Vehicle Development Platforms for Automated Driving, which is specifically tailored for the self-driving technology market in that it's highly scalable and designed to meet the high compute demands of the fully autonomous driving industry.
Intel GO computer systems will span the car, connectivity and cloud with multiple development kits that scale in performance based on its next-generation Intel Atom processor as well as Intel Xeon processors plus Arria 10 FPGAs. The technology, Intel claims, is also the industry's first 5G-ready development platform for automated driving.