Following the completion of its tender offer for autonomous driving technologies leader Mobileye this week, Intel has announced plans to develop its autonomous driving business by building a fleet of 100 fully autonomous vehicles for testing in the US, Israel and Europe.
Mobileye plans to begin deploying the first vehicles, which will offer ‘Level 4’ autonomy, later this year. Level 4 autonomy is defined by SAE International as “the driving mode-specific performance by an automated driving system of all aspects of the dynamic driving task”.
Amnon Shashua, soon-to-be senior vice president of Intel Corporation and future CEO/CTO of Mobileye, said: “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.”
The tests will take place in different geographies to help Intel understand the diverse driving styles, road conditions and signage in different regions.
“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,” said Shashua.
The companies have described the acquisition as bringing together Mobileye’s ‘eyes’ with Intel’s ‘brains’ to create automated driving solutions that reach from the cloud to the car.
The planned fleet of test vehicles will combine Mobileye’s computer vision, sensing, fusion, mapping and driving policy capabilities with Intel’s open compute platforms and its expertise in data center and 5G communication technologies. Intel has previously estimated that each autonomous vehicle will generate 4,000 GB of data per day.
Intel said that the test fleet would include multiple car brands and vehicle types “to demonstrate the technology’s agnostic nature”. It will use the fleet to demonstrate the technology to current and prospective customers in a real-world environment.
“Our customers will benefit from our ability to use this fleet to accelerate our technology development,” said Shashua.
“We want to enable automakers to deliver driverless cars faster while reducing costs – data we collect will save our customers significant costs.”
Earlier this year, the companies announced plans with BMW to put around 40 autonomous BMW vehicles on the roads by the second half of 2017.