Delphi joins BMW-Intel-Mobileye autonomous car partnership

Paterniano Del Favero
Mag 20, 2017

Automotive supplier Delphi has joined a tech consortium formed previous year by BMW, Intel, and Mobileye with plans to bring a fully autonomous vehicle to the mass market by 2021.

The companies say Delphi, with US operations based in suburban Detroit, already has provided a prototype computing platform that melds sensors, artificial intelligence and other computers.

While Intel provides the chips and Mobileye the sensors, Delphi will build systems that integrate the technology into the vehicle.

"The four partners intend to jointly deploy a cooperation model to deliver and scale the developed solutions to the broader OEM automotive industry and potentially other industries", the companies said in a news release. Delphi's deal is not exclusive.

If the intermingling of the players involved in Tuesday's announcement sounds familiar, that's because they're already working with each other on a variety of separate autonomous-vehicle project permutations. Same goes for a more recent drive at Intel's new Autonomous Driving Garage in Silicon Valley, where the same Delphi auto was providing test rides with updated versions of its software. The companies plan to develop a system that can be used by other automakers or tech companies in their own cars.

Delphi will share with the BMW alliance some of the work it has been doing on a separate self-driving platform it is developing with Intel and Mobileye NV, the Israeli vision system and mapping expert that is being acquired by Intel, said Glen De Vos, Delphi's chief technology officer. Given their prior relationships, the companies said Tuesday it made sense to make Delphi their first integration partner and to further conjoin their fortunes. The trio has set 2021 as their target date for bringing an automated driving platform into production. It would be capable of driving itself, but a human driver could still be called on to intervene.

"In the long run there will on be a few platforms left", he said. At Level 5, fully self-driving technology is capable of handling all driving in all conditions.

Richard Rau, BMW AG's vice president of sensors, control units and software, said his company believes autonomous driving platforms will be consolidated over time as more companies join forces.

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