While the debate rages on about how far away true self-driving cars are, several companies are showing off technology rapidly approaching the goal. Among all the big news yesterday out of CES in Las Vegas was Intel’s self-driving car. The company introduced its first self-driving test car as part of its 100-vehicle test fleet.
The car is loaded with 12 sensors, cameras, radars, and scanners. Using technology from Mobileye, the car includes three high-resolution cameras in the front. These three cameras give the car a 180-degree field of vision. The onboard image processors are able to see objects at a distance of more than 300 yards.
Mobileye is a computer software company which makes software for autonomous driving. Intel purchased the company last year to gain an anchor in the autonomous driving industry. Mobileye’s technology is already being used by BMW, Nissan, and Volkswagen. Intel estimates that nearly two million vehicles will use Mobileye technology to build high-definition maps during this next year.
Speaking at the unveiling Brian Krzanich, Intel Chief Executive said, "We not only find data everywhere today, but it will be the creative force behind the innovations of the future. Data is going to redefine how we experience life. In our work, in our homes, how we travel, and how we enjoy sports and entertainment.”
During his keynote speech yesterday Krzanich also discussed some details surrounding Intel’s new automated driving platform. The platform combines automotive-grade Intel Atom processors with Mobileye EyeQ5 chips. Intel believes this will help deliver a versatile and scalable platform for Level 3 to Level 5 autonomous driving.
Several other partnerships were announced yesterday as well including one with Chinese auto manufacturer SAIC Motor and digital mapping company NavInfo. SAIC is said to develop Levels 3, 4, and 5 autonomous vehicles based on Mobileye’s technology.
The technology around self-driving cars is rapidly evolving. It’s big partnerships like this which will bring it closer to reality.