Intel & BMW moving toward Self-Driving cars

Intel—the brains behind many an autonomous test vehicle—has found a new home for its self-driving technology in Silicon Valley.

Unveiled during this week’s Autonomous Driving Workshop in San Jose, the new Advanced Vehicle Lab joins existing research bases in Arizona, Oregon, and Germany.

They’ve been created, according to the company, for algorithm development and training; researchers will feed information from Intel’s test cars to train AIs and improve machine learning.

In November, the chip maker proposed a $250 million investment in self-driving cars, revealing plans to “make fully autonomous driving a reality.” The money will be spent over two years, specifically on the Internet of Things as it related to transportation and technology to minimize risk while improving efficiency.

Intel and BMW

Wednesday’s workshop, meanwhile, highlighted the first fruits of that labor with the unveiling of one of the first highly automated driving (HAD) cars expected from Intel, BMW, and Mobileye later this year.

The three companies in July disclosed plans to bring highly and fully autonomous vehicles into production by 2021 via a common platform.

“We are now successfully demonstrating that platform and are preparing plans to bring it to market for other OEMs and tier-one suppliers to accelerate their programs,” Doug Davis, general manager of Intel’s Automated Driving Solutions Group, wrote in a blog post.

Davis, in fact, is so confident in Intel’s future achievements that he postponed his retirement for “the chance to solve one of the most complex technology challenges of our time.”

Intel and BMW

At the heart of autonomous driving is the ability of the car to see, interpret, and act on everything around it. That requires cameras, radar, sonar, GPS, and LIDAR—each of which generate kilobytes of data every second. A single vehicle, Intel warned, can produce 4 terabytes of information a day just from embedded sensors and systems.

“The single most important factor in autonomous driving is data—how best to process it, manage it, move it, store it, share it, and learn from it,” Davis said. “As we move down the road toward autonomous cars, the data challenge will become much more complex and require new ways to work with data inside the vehicle, throughout the network, and across the cloud.

“It’s important to remember that autonomous driving isn’t a game,” he continued. “When cars are thinking and acting without human intervention, they must be able to do so in a safe and trustworthy way.”

In September, Intel Joined the 5G Automotive Association in a bid to define how next-generation cellular networks will talk to connected cars.

“The faster we can deliver autonomous driving technology and take humans out of the driver’s seat, the faster we can save lives,” Davis wrote. “It’s that simple—and that important. And I am confident Intel will not only succeed in helping our partners put self-driving cars on the roads, we will do so in the fastest, smartest way possible.”

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