Waymo has been one of the leading names in autonomous, or self-driving, vehicle technologies. They began as a spin-off of tech leader Google’s parent company Alphabet. Google began research and development in self driving vehicles back in 2009. Fast forward to today, and Waymo has already started road testing. They are also in talks with officials regarding regulations for driverless cars. In the latest development for Waymo, the tech firm Intel Corp has just announced that the two companies are collaborating.
Intel publicly announced that they are working with Waymo to design a new computer platform. This new computer platform would give self driving vehicles the ability to process information in real time. Intel is currently the world’s largest computer chipmaker. A big reason that they are involved is that the technologies they develop can work wonders for sensor processing. Intel was also responsible for the general computer and connectivity tech found in Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans. More specifically, these were the vans that Waymo used since 2015 to test self-driving.
Intel’s Goals for Autonomous Driving Tech
Intel Chief Executive Brian Krzanich told Reuters that Intel developed a newly customized chip that can be fitted for Waymo. Waymo’s sensor fusion technology makes huge demands. That is why Waymo sees Intel’s processing power as a must. The hope for Intel and Waymo is that they will be able to integrat more of the software demands directly into the hardware. That is because neither Waymo nor Intel want to be at a disadvantage when it comes to performance, cost and power.
Intel is no stranger to the world of autonomous driving technology. Back in March they spent an estimated $15 billion in order to acquire Mobileye, a company that creates sensors and camera systems. They have been pushing for a foothold into self driving vehicle tech for a while. Many insiders argue that autonomous driving is the biggest sector growth in both the tech and automotive industries. Business insiders believe that this collaboration between Waymo and Intel will potentially put both at the forefront of self driving technology.
Other Waymo Collaborations
This is the first public announcement for Waymo revealing they are collaborating with other suppliers. The press reports that Waymo is primarily focusing on in-house development. For example, Waymo came to develop their own sets of sensors as opposed to utilizing the “autonomous vision system” that Mobileye developed.
Meanwhile Mobileye and Intel have also gone on to collaborate with German automaker BMW and Fiat-Chrysler in separate projects. These o not conflict with the Intel & Waymo collaboration as this project is concerned with the creation of an industry-wide autonomous car platform.