Back in March, Intel made its pursuits in autonomous driving well known to the world by acquiring Israeli company Mobileye for a healthy $63.54 per share, representing an equity value of $15.3 billion. Intel has had some missteps these past few years, having bowed out of the wearable market, and even the DIY market, but the reach of the autonomous vehicle market is immense, and it's one area where Intel could make its mark. Even if it's getting into things a lot later than a good chunk of its competition.
Mobileye, Intel, and BMW showing off an autonomous vehicle prototype
The company is wasting very little time putting Mobileye to work now that its acquisition has been finalized, announcing today that it will be building a fleet of 100 fully autonomous (level 4 SAE) test vehicles. These cars are bound for the US, Israel, and elsewhere in Europe, with the first to be put to work appearing later this year.
Building a good quantity of test cars and spending hundreds of thousands of miles on the roads is going to prove vital for Intel's development. Better still, Intel's particular testing could prove even more useful than most, since it's deploying its vehicles in three very different countries, where something as simple as driving can make you realize you are in another world.
Soon to be SVP of Intel and the future CEO of Mobileye Amnon Shashua further touts the multi-national rollout y saying, "Geographic diversity is very important as different regions have very diverse driving styles as well as different road conditions and signage.
Soon-to-be CEO of Mobileye, Amnom Shashua
Once in action, these autonomous vehicles from Intel will be kitted out with Mobileye's technologies, including computer vision, sensing, mapping, even going as far to manage driving policies. Intel will complement this by using its expertise in the enterprise to keep communications between the vehicles and their remote networks fast, bolstered by its 5G technologies.
With Intel planning to have 100 autonomous vehicles on the road by the end of the year, we'd reckon that 2018 is going to be a very interesting year. At this point, autonomous vehicle production is increasing at a rapid rate, and of course, it's getting better and better. Intel has a huge mountain to climb if it wants to beat out the already existing competition, but its situation is looking great at this point.