German auto giant BMW, Mobileye, and Intel today announced that they have teamed up to test self-driving cars in the United States and Europe this year. The companies will deploy 40 self-driving cars for testing on public roads in the second half of this year. The test cars will be BMW 7 Series sedans that are packed with technology provided by Intel and Mobileye.
BMW hasn’t made this announcement today out of the blue. It first announced more than six months ago that it was looking to team up with Intel and Mobileye on self-driving cars. Intel will provide the processing power while Mobileye will come up with the systems and sensors required to enable the car to drive itself. BMW said back then that it wanted to start selling autonomous cars by 2021.
Today’s announcement is interesting for a different reason. These companies aren’t just collaborating on self-driving car technology that only BMW will use. They are actually working on scalable architecture that other car manufacturers can adopt and use in their vehicles of the future.
BMW also has an independent project that it’s working on. It’s the company’s autonomous electric car currently referred to as i NEXT that BMW is hoping to have out on the market by 2021. The three companies will begin their joint testing with BMW 7 Series vehicles in the second half of 2017.