Innovation

The Cars Of The Future Are Coming, Thanks To BMW, Intel And Mobileye (Maybe)

OK, let’s be honest, having a car that can pretty much (and literally) drive itself is pretty damn cool.

Right now, however, unless you’ve got $80,000-plus to shell out on a Tesla, you’re pretty much out of luck.

Self-driving technology is not yet widely available to the public at an affordable price.

But BMW, Intel and Mobileye are hoping to change that.

The carmaker, chipmaker and collision-avoidance maker are joining forces to try and bring highly and fully automated driving to the masses by 2021.

“The future of automated driving promises to change lives and societies for the better. But the path to get to a fully autonomous world is complex and will require end-to-end solutions that integrate intelligence across the network, from door locks to the data center. Transportation providers of the future must harness rapidly evolving technologies, collaborate with totally new partners and prepare for disruptive opportunities,” the three companies said in a joint statement released July 1.

BMW’s iNEXT model, which the automaker hopes to have fully into production by 2021, will serve as the “foundation” for the three companies' joint venture into the realm of highly and fully automated driving.

“Mobileye is proud to contribute our expertise in sensing, localization and driver policy to enable fully autonomous driving in this cooperation. The processing of sensing, like our capabilities to understand the driving scene through a single camera already, will be deployed on Mobileye’s latest system-on-chip, the EyeQ5, and the collaborative development of fusion algorithms will be deployed on Intel computing platforms. In addition, Mobileye Road Experience Management (REM) technology will provide real-time precise localization and model the driving scene to essentially support fully autonomous driving,” said Mobileye Cofounder, Chairman and CTO Professor Amnon Shashua.

But it remains to be seen if highly or fully automated driving will actually catch on with the public.

Tesla had a highly publicized fatal crash of a driver in one of its vehicles in May, who was apparently using the automated driving function, and Mobileye was one of the designers of the vehicle’s system. And now, the two companies are squabbling back and forth over who is responsible for the crash.

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