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Intel to Develop Driverless Tech

Mobileye’s driverless car is part of Intel’s attempt to grab a stake in autonomous technology and the Israeli company, which the chipmaker bought for about $15 billion in 2017, is now reaping the benefits of being part of a larger company, including having access to its engineering capabilities.

This story by Gwen Ackerman appeared in Automotive News.

The car itself has developed a bit of a stubborn streak.

During a test drive in October, with a Bloomberg reporter sitting in the passenger seat, the car merged into traffic on a highway. Then, when drivers were reluctant to allow it to change lanes – a situation quite common on Israel’s roads – it made the move, smoothly but assertively.

Over the 20-minute drive, the driver did not touch the steering wheel or the brake once.

Like its rivals, Mobileye has experienced problems. At a May press event in the company’s hometown of Jerusalem, its camera-only vehicle ran a red light about a quarter of a mile from the company’s garage. The problem was blamed on the electromagnetic interference caused by wireless transmitters on cameras being used by a television crew. The company said it has since fixed the problem.

Mobileye has been keen to emphasize its focus on safety, without which society is unlikely to adapt to the idea of a car without a driver.

“When you help an industry accelerate the transition to an advanced data center platform, like assistive or autonomous driving, nothing is more strategic,” said Bob Swan, Intel’s CFO and interim CEO.

Billions of dollars are pouring into autonomous technologies as automakers and technology giants battle to be the first to bring driverless cars to the masses. Indeed, Mobileye’s technology will also be used by automakers such as BMW and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles as the industry makes the move toward fully self-driving cars.

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