BMW, Intel and Mobileye Are Sending Self-Driving Cars on the Road in 2017

January 4, 2017, 5:15 PM UTC
BMW engineer André Mueller tests autonomous driving technology in a BMW autonomous test car. (CREDIT: BMW Group)
BMW engineer André Mueller tests autonomous driving technology in a BMW autonomous test car. (CREDIT: BMW Group)
BMW Group

German automaker BMW, Intel, and Mobileye said Wednesday they will put a fleet of about 40 autonomous BMW cars on the road by the end of the year, the latest advancement in a partnership formed less than a year ago.

The announcement was made at CES, the annual consumer electronics show in Las Vegas.

The autonomous BMW 7 Series vehicles will be tested in U.S. and Europe, and will use software and hardware development tools under Intel’s new automated driving brand Intel GO.

In July last year, BMW, Intel, and Mobileye announced plans to work together to produce self-driving cars for city streets by 2021 and develop the technology as an open platform that can be used other automakers or ride-sharing companies.

The companies have since developed the scalable open platform, which they want other automakers to adopt as the industry scrambles to commercialize self-driving vehicles.

“Making autonomous driving a reality for our customers is the shared ambition behind our cooperation with Intel and Mobileye,” said Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG for Development. “We are already thinking in terms of scalability and welcome other companies—manufacturers, suppliers or technology companies—to participate and contribute to our autonomous platform.”

BMW’s iNEXT model, a next-generation flagship brand that the company plans to launch in five years, is at the heart of the partnership. BMW will be responsible for developing driving control and dynamics, evaluation of overall functional safety, including setting up a high performance simulation engine, production of prototypes, and eventually scaling the platform.

Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, will contribute its computing power with artificial intelligence and data center capabilities, and computer vision company Mobileye will bring its advanced sensor tech into the car.