Intel Creating 100 Level 4 Autonomous Vehicles
Intel is building a fleet of fully autonomous—as in SAE Level 4 (“Automated Driving System of all aspects of the dynamic driving task, even if a human driver does not respond appropriately to a request to intervene”)—vehicles—100 of them--that will be launched later this year for testing in the US, Israel and Europe.
It’s not that Intel is going to be actually building cars. Rather, it will be equipping them with its autonomous technology, including computer vision, sensing, fusion, mapping and driving policy from Mobileye, as well as Intel’s extensive capabilities in computing hardware (just think of all of the chips it has produced over the years), data centers, and 5G communications tech.
It plans to use “multiple car brands and vehicle types” in this undertaking.
As you may recall, earlier this year BMW Group, Mobileye, Intel, and Delphi announced that they’re working on a platform for Level 3 to Level 5 autonomous vehicles.
Shashua of Intel/Mobileye. Clearly, there’s lots of math involved in developing autonomous capabilities, as evidenced by that white board. (photo: Mobileye)
So Amnon Shashua, soon-to-be senior vice president of Intel Corp. and future CEO/CTO of Mobileye (Intel closed the $15.3-billion deal to acquire Mobileye Tuesday, so they probably haven’t printed the business cards yet; Shashua is a co-founder of Mobileye), said, “This does not replace any customer activities; it is additive to them. Our customers will benefit from our ability to use this fleet to accelerate our technology development. We want to enable automakers to deliver driverless cars faster while reducing costs – data we collect will save our customers significant costs.”
The rationale for what Intel is going is to accelerate the deployment of the tech by helping prove that it works.
Shashua explained, “Building cars and testing them in real-world conditions provides immediate feedback and will accelerate delivery of technologies and solutions for highly and fully autonomous vehicles.” He added, “Geographic diversity is very important as different regions have very diverse driving styles as well as different road conditions and signage. 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.”
Once they get things like that proven on public roads, convincing OEMs of the viability and reliability of the tech is all the easier. (Of course, the developing and proving isn’t going to be all that easy.)
Incidentally: if you are interested in Intel’s activities in specific or autonomy in general, you should attend the Autonomy + Mobility conference that we’re holding in Detroit on October 25. One of the speakers is Jack Weast, Senior Principal Engineer and Chief Systems Architect of Autonomous Driving Solutions, Intel Corp. You can learn more about the event here.
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