Intel said Wednesday that its computer vision subsidiary Mobileye is building a fleet of fully autonomous vehicles. The plan is to build more than 100 level 4 SAE vehicles and test them in the United States, Israel, and Europe. The first slate of vehicles will deploy sometime later this year, Intel said.
Intel bought Mobileye back in March for $15.3 billion in an effort to become a stronger player in the vehicle systems, data and services market, and to ramp up its go-to-market strategy in the automotive space.
Technologically, Intel wants to deliver a complete "car-to-cloud" system by coupling its high-performance computing knowhow with Mobileye's computer vision, sensor fusion, mapping, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
"Building cars and testing them in real-world conditions provides immediate feedback and will accelerate delivery of technologies and solutions for highly and fully autonomous vehicles," said Amnon Shashua, soon-to-be SVP of Intel Corporation and future CEO/CTO of Mobileye.
"Geographic diversity is very important as different regions have very diverse driving styles as well as different road conditions and signage," he added. "Our goal is to develop autonomous vehicle technology that can be deployed anywhere, which means we need to test and train the vehicles in varying locations."
Intel said the test fleet will include multiple car brands and vehicle types in an effort to show the technology's agnostic properties. In other words, Intel is trying to create a platform that other automakers can buy and then customize with their own self-driving software.
More broadly, Intel wants to demonstrate a platform that's deployable and scalable in a real-world landscape, while also using the vehicle fleet as a way to interact with regulators and validate the safety of autonomous cars.
"Our customers will benefit from our ability to use this fleet to accelerate our technology development," Shashua said. "We want to enable automakers to deliver driverless cars faster while reducing costs -- data we collect will save our customers significant costs."