Automotive manufacturers and technology firms all around the world are working hard towards an autonomous future for a number of reasons. One of the biggest is that an autonomous car with an infrastructure to allow it to communicate with other cars is safer; which means fewer accidents, less traffic, and a faster daily commute for everyone. Before we can get to that future world where we aren't stuck in traffic or at risk from the distracted person driving beside us on the highway, we need the technology to make these autonomous vehicles a reality.
Intel and Waymo have announced that they will be teaming up to create technology needed for the future autonomous vehicles. The tech duo wants a future where the 3,278 daily worldwide deaths from automobile accidents are massively reduced. Intel's CEO Brian Krzanich sees a future where his grandchildren will never need to drive a car. Think about that statement for a bit; everyday the majority of us drive and in a generation that will end if Krzanich's vision comes true.
Krzanich writes, "Given the pace at which autonomous driving is coming to life, I fully expect my children’s children will never have to drive a car. That’s an astounding thought: Something almost 90 percent of Americans do every day will end within a generation. With so much life-saving potential, it’s a rapid transformation that Intel is excited to be at the forefront of along with other industry leaders like Waymo."
Intel and Waymo will team up on the new autonomous vehicles Waymo is readying based on the Chrysler Pacifica hybrid van. These vehicles use Intel hardware inside for sensor processing, general computer, and connectivity. All of that tech combines to make it possible for these autonomous vehicles to drive themselves in complex city conditions. Intel says that its advanced processing power will handle the demands of level 4 and 5 autonomy for vehicles.
Krzanich adds, "As Waymo’s self-driving technology becomes smarter and more capable, its high-performance hardware and software will require even more powerful and efficient compute. By working closely with Waymo, Intel can offer Waymo’s fleet of vehicles the advanced processing power required for level 4 and 5 autonomy."
Intel and Waymo have been working together for 3 million miles of autonomous driving in the real world. That means that Intel has processed more self-driving car miles than any other autonomous fleet cruising the roads. Part of Waymo's testing is being done in Phoenix, Arizona where the Pacifica minivans are offering free rides to area residents. There is no word on when this autonomous testing might roll out to other areas.