BMW works with Intel and Mobileye to release a full autonomous car by 2021

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 28, 2016

Autonomous or self-driving vehicles are rapidly gaining popularity nowadays. Automakers are now in a race on who can make the best fully autonomous cars and who can make the most powerful of them all. Basically, it is a race for technological supremacy, the looks and specs come second.

There have been various automakers who have tried to make the most efficient autonomous cars and one of these is American automaker Tesla. Tesla has been one of the first and leading automakers that revealed its development of self-driving cars (whether semi- or fully autonomous). Tesla has been making some of the most innovative autonomous vehicles and is currently in the works of developing a fully autonomous vehicle that will soon be made available for purchase.

Recently, a new player in the autonomous vehicle business is gearing up to join the hype. BMW has announced that it will be developing its own fully autonomous vehicle in collaboration with tech companies Intel and Mobileye.

Mobileye has already proven itself to consumers by providing Tesla its driver assistance technology. The company is already well-known in the field of monovision camera systems and image recognition. To be able to build the most efficient self-driving vehicle, it must be able to efficiently recognize other vehicles as well as pedestrians, signs and road and weather conditions. And since Mobileye is already an expert in this field, they must now develop a camera (maybe several of it) that will serve as eyes and provide situational awareness to the vehicle. Sensor signals around the vehicle are very important especially on fully autonomous vehicles that BMW is planning on creating and one way for these sensor signals to operate efficiently is to have a cohesive image of its surroundings – which Mobileye is tasked to do.

Intel is currently having a hard time penetrating the mobile market and computer sales are slowly declining so the next big step for the tech company is to venture the automotive world. Intel will be providing BMW with high-powered processors for the fully autonomous car project. The tech company aims to converge and consolidate all of the processors in modern vehicles that have around 50 to 100 electronic control units. These will need a lot of power, wiring and network to be able to function efficiently. Intel is developing a way to combine most of these control systems into a single multi-core processor to reduce power consumption as well as simplify its packaging to improve performance and security.

The resulting autonomous platform that BMW will be using will be made readily available to other manufacturers just like the technology powering Tesla’s autonomous vehicles. BMW, Mobileye and Intel are working on this vehicle so that by late 2017 it can start on field testing its fleet of autonomous vehicles. By 2021, the cars will hit the market marking a new beginning in the field of autonomous driving.

Press Release

BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye Team Up to Bring Fully Autonomous Driving to Streets by 2021

BMW Group, Intel, and Mobileye are joining forces to make self-driving vehicles and future mobility concepts become a reality. The three leaders from the automotive, technology and computer vision and machine learning industries are collaborating to bring solutions for highly and fully automated driving into series production 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.

Together with Intel and Mobileye, the BMW Group will develop the necessary solutions and innovative systems for highly and fully automated driving to bring these technologies into series production by 2021. The BMW iNEXT model will be the foundation for BMW Group’s autonomous driving strategy and set the basis for fleets of fully autonomous vehicles, not only on highways but also in urban environments for the purpose of automated ridesharing solutions.

BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye are convinced that automated driving technologies will make travel safer and easier. The goal of the collaboration is to develop future-proofed solutions that enable the drivers to not only take their hands off the steering wheel, but reach the so called “eyes off” (level 3) and ultimately the “mind off” (level 4) level transforming the driver’s in-car time into leisure or work time. This level of autonomy would enable the vehicle, on a technical level, to achieve the final stage of traveling “driver off” (level 5) without a human driver inside. This establishes the opportunity for self-driving fleets by 2021 and lays the foundation for entirely new business models in a connected, mobile world.

On July 1, 2016, the three partners were present at the BMW Group Headquarters in Munich to express their commitment to strive for an industry standard and define an open platform for autonomous driving. The common platform will address level 3 to level 5 automated driving and will be made available to multiple car vendors and other industries who could benefit from autonomous machines and deep machine learning.

The companies have agreed to a set of deliverables and milestones to deliver fully autonomous cars based on a common reference architecture. Near term, the companies will demonstrate an autonomous test drive with a highly automated driving (HAD) prototype. In 2017 the platform will extend to fleets with extended autonomous test drives.

“Today marks an important milestone for the automotive industry as we enter a world of new mobility. Together with BMW Group and Intel, Mobileye is laying the groundwork for the technology of future mobility that enables fully autonomous driving to become a reality within the next few years,” said Mobileye Co-Founder, Chairman and CTO Professor Amnon Shashua.

“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 EyeQ®5, 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.”

Intel brings a comprehensive portfolio of technology to power and connect billions of smart and connected devices, including cars. To handle the complex workloads required for autonomous cars in urban environments Intel provides the compute power that scales from Intel® Atom™ to Intel® Xeon™ processors delivering up to a total of 100 teraflops of power efficient performance without having to rewrite code.

“Highly autonomous cars and everything they connect to will require powerful and reliable electronic brains to make them smart enough to navigate traffic and avoid accidents,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. “This partnership between BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye will help us to quickly deliver on our vision to reinvent the driving experience. We bring a broad set of in-vehicle and cloud computing, connectivity, safety and security, and machine-learning assets to this collaboration enabling a truly end to end solution.”

With its Strategy Number ONE > NEXT, the BMW Group has developed its framework to remain the driving force behind premium individual mobility. This approach will become driving reality with the BMW iNEXT model in 2021, heralding a new era of mobility.

“At the BMW Group we always strive for technological leadership. This partnership underscores our Strategy Number ONE > NEXT to shape the individual mobility of the future,” stated Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “Following our investment in high definition live map technology at HERE, the combined expertise of Intel, Mobileye and the BMW Group will deliver the next core building block to bring fully automated driving technology to the street. We have already showcased such groundbreaking solutions in our VISION NEXT 100 vehicle concepts. With this technological leap forward, we are offering our customers a whole new level of sheer driving pleasure whilst pioneering new concepts for premium mobility.”

Topics: bmw, autonomous car

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