Intel, Mobileye to Help BMW Get Driverless Cars on Road by 2021
The executives all said open standards and a common platform will be crucial to the development of the driverless car industry. Intel's Krzanich said open standards throughout the tech industry have helped drive innovation, and BMW's Krueger noted that while a common platform would benefit all automakers, there will be areas in which the carmakers will be able to differentiate. Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst with Moor Insights and Strategy, said openness will determine how broadly the common platform is embraced. "The impact on the industry beyond these sponsoring companies will depend on the extent to which the integration software is made available as open source, and the ecosystem the sponsors are able to recruit," Moorhead wrote in a research note. "Intel is very skilled and has demonstrated a history of creating standards." The executives all said safety is a key element of their plans, a goal highlighted by the fatal crash of a Tesla Model S car in May that was being operated in autopilot mode. The car collided with a truck in Florida, killing the 40-year-old Tesla driver. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into the crash. The three executives each said that five years is enough time to ensure that driverless cars are safe.
For Intel, the partnership marks an increased presence in the autonomous car space, which company officials see as a key growth market. It's also highly competitive, with other chip makers—including Qualcomm, Nvidia and NXP Semiconductors—making strong pushes. Moorhead said that "collaborating with a leader like BMW will put Intel in a much better position to expand beyond their current, automotive niche into what is becoming a data center on wheels."