German automaker BMW has announced it is joining forces with US computer chip firm Intel and the Israeli technology company Mobileye to develop of the BMW iNEXT self-driving cars.
The three companies are collaborating to bring solutions for highly and fully automated driving into series production by 2021, they said in a joint statement.
The new partnership comes amid growing interest in self-driving cars including by Google, Uber, Tesla and research by other automakers.
BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye are convinced that automated driving technologies will make travel safer and easier.
According to the statment 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.”, They said.
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.
In 2017 the platform will extend to fleets with extended autonomous test drives.