SELF-DRIVING CARS are always a big deal at CES and this year is no different with Intel taking the covers off its work on autonomous vehicles.
Clearly keen to shake of the spectre of, well, Spectre and Meltdown, Intel's showed off a driverless car that's been stuffed with its tech and will form part of a 100 strong test car fleet.
Sporting 12 cameras, radar, laser scanners and a host of software and image processing tech from Mobileye, which Intel snapped up last year, the autonomous car has a 180-degree field of view and can process images at a range of 300 metres. Essentially, it has all the kit it needs to drive itself around safely.
But Intel isn't in the car making game, because making automobiles is a pretty tough business and required a whole load of tooling and factories that we doubt Intel wants to shell out on when it has silicone to slice up instead.
Rather, the chipmaker revealed that BMW, Nissan and Volkswagen are going to take their work with Mobileye tech used in some of their vehicles to create and deploy high-definition maps throughout 2018 that other makers of autonomous driving systems can use for navigation; think of it as the beginnings of a self-driving car ecosystem.
Chinese carmaker SAIC Motor, in partnership with mapping firm NavInfo, will use Mobileye technology to develop level 3, 4 and 5 autonomous cars; level 5 is the highest self-driving band and allows for cars to merrily pootle around without a driver behind the wheel.
Instead of making self-driving cars Intel will be more interested in how data is used and processed to pilot them.
"We not only find data everywhere today, but it will be the creative force behind the innovations of the future. Data is going to redefine how we experience life - in our work, in our homes, how we travel, and how we enjoy sports and entertainment," said chief executive Brian Krzanich.
Of course, Intel will be facing some stiff competition in the embedded car tech world, as Nvidia is all up in that, especially with its announcement it will be working with occasionally seedy ride-sharing firm Uber to plonk artificial intelligence powering tech and software into a fleet of driverless cars for Uber.
With all this driverless tech development going, it looks like human-driven cars may be a thing of the of the past a lot sooner than we might think. And given some of the idiots on the road these days that may be no bad thing. µ
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