Waymo and Intel jointly announced that they collaborated on the in-house creation of sensors and self-driving technology for the startup’s new Chrysler Pacifica minivans. They also revealed they have been working together on driverless computing since the beginning of Google’s self-driving car project in 2009.
Following the announcement, the two tech giants also said they would continue their partnership with the development of technology that provides autonomous vehicles with the intelligence necessary to reach Level 4 and Level 5 of driving automation soon.
Intel has long been thought of as a lurker in the self-driving car industry, which is quickly rising more to prominence as more and more automakers delve into the inevitable future of putting machines behind the wheel.
Waymo’s cars need high-performance processing. That’s why we’ve been using Intel products since 2009 https://t.co/jhDwMzC231
— Waymo (@Waymo) September 18, 2017
Waymo has an advantage inside with Intel
For some time now, other startups both in the car manufacturing side of things and the technology industry, in general, have been eyeing one aspect or another about driverless vehicles.
As it turns out, Intel had been mostly absent from the whole autonomous car craze up until now, only to surface as a major player in partnership with none other than Alphabet, owner of both Google and Waymo.
Recently, the computing giant had made a significant incursion into this field by acquiring Mobileye for $15 billion. The Israeli firm is more in the business of making standalone driverless systems to sell them as readymade solutions to car manufacturers.
Together, Waymo and Intel are looking to bring about the era of Level 5 automation to roads and streets in the United States. The terms of the partnership remain secret, but Intel Capital has publicly said it is willing to spend as much as $250 million in the development of technology that makes this concept a reality.
Waymo is all about tech while Intel eyes the future
In their separate statements, the two companies emphasized different aspects of working with one another. Intel placed more importance on the fact that most deaths on the road are attributable to human error, while Waymo said it is all about technology.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said he expects his children’s children “will never have to drive a car,” and that the firm’s role to play in making that happen was providing Waymo with the support and technology it needs.
In Chrysler Pacifica minivans and future cars by Alphabet’s driverless arm, this translates to systems built from the ground up which integrate connectivity, sensors, and autonomous driving platforms to deliver a truly seamless auto experience of the future.
Rivals like Uber are developing their own tech and working with automakers like Volvo to install their systems in their cars, while old foes like Lyft have shrunken enough to consider a buyout option from Alphabet, according to sources. This would bolster Waymo’s force even more as it turns an enemy into an ally.