Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has announced it will be joining forces with auto component manufacturer Delphi and the Israeli firm Mobileye that develops vision systems to power the self-driving cars of future. Intel’s role in the partnership will be to provide the processing power needed for the driver-less cars to function.
Typically, cars that are designed to drive on its own come equipped with radars, sensors, and/or cameras to make the car, suitably aware of its surroundings. However, continuously scanning the driving zone for vehicles, pedestrians, street markings, road signs or other obstacles while still running the various systems of the car and maintaining the correct course does require lots of processing power.
On the whole, it is almost akin to having supercomputers on every future car and it is here that Intel comes into the picture. As of now, it is the Core i7 chip that Intel is making available to Delphi and Mobileye for their testing purposes though the chipmaker has promised a more powerful unnamed processor that will be made available at a later date.
As Glen DeVos, Delphi’s vice president of engineering and services revealed, the plan will be to offer a means for even the mid-range cars to be able to drive on their own. And at the center of all the systems and components designed to achieve that objective will be an Intel chip that is estimated to allow for 20 trillion mathematical operations to be performed in a second.
If that seems too expensive, DeVos already hinted a future version having two to three times the processing power would be made available later on.
Competitors like Nvidia though aren’t too worried at the development given that they already have marked out a presence in the segment. It has been this July that Intel announced it is partnering Mobileye and BMW to provide the chips that BMW need to power its self-driving cars due out in 2021.
Worth mentioning, Nvidia will be providing the processing backbone that Tesla needs to make its self-driving cars running efficiently.
Intel also revealed it would be investing $250 million towards developing self-driving technologies.