German automaker BMW isn’t wasting any time after announcing that it is looking for partners. The company is in talks with Intel to develop autonomous cars. The partnership will also include Mobileye for collision avoidance software. The companies may announce official plans at a press conference following an upcoming discussion this Friday.
No official details have been given about the press conference except that BMW Chief Executive Harald Krueger, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Mobileye Chairman, and Chief Technology Officer Amnon Shashua, will be in attendance. Bringing these three together could move autonomous technology development forward at a fast pace. Evercore financial analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said:
“We anticipate that Intel has been tapped to provide the (central processor unit) needed at the vehicle level, the computer that coordinates the myriad components of the car in combination with Mobileye’s … software.”
BMW has definitely decided to go “big” in this venture. Mobileye is the world’s number one supplier of camera sensor systems for autonomous vehicles. Added to this, Intel is the largest computer chip producer on the planet.
Automakers and tech companies are beginning to look to partnerships as Google, Uber, Tesla, and Apple are disrupting the market.
BMW has already been working with Mobileye for years since its first gen systems were released in 2007. Current 3rd gen systems by the company include object detection and lane changing software. BMW is one of a handful of companies set to utilize Mobileye’s 4th gen system in 2018. However, analysts are predicting that this three company partnership will be focusing into the future of 5th gen systems that go well beyond object detection and safety systems.
Volkswagen Group, General Motors, and Nissan, are all planning to use Mobileye 5th gen systems in future cars. Tesla will be using Mobileye for its hands-free driving technology. Ofer Maharshak, Mobileye’s Chief Financial Officer shared:
“You know three are already engaged, Nissan, VW, and GM. We are going to have four or five – between four to five others in the next months, up to the beginning of 2017.”
“First full autonomous car on the roads, 2021 timeframe. It’s going to be probably announced in the coming weeks.”