Intel is moving quickly to ramp its autonomous driving technology efforts now that it has closed its acquisition of Mobileye, the Israeli self-driving sensor and computing company. The plan is to build a fleet of over 100 test vehicles with SAE Level 4 capabilities (fully self-driving) with the first of those hitting roads later this year.
The test fleet is designed to show off Intel and Mobileye’s hybrid autonomous driving software system, which it hopes to offer as an industry supplier for a range of different applications and uses. The test fleet will accordingly include different vehicle brands and types, the company says, to help show that the platform itself is open for use in basically any applications.
Intel’s test fleet is going to be a sales tool for the company for potential partners and customers, but the company says it’ll also be used for safety validation and for working with regulators on meeting transportation rule requirements. Data collection from the fleet will help with that, as well as with improving the technology over time.
Testing with the vehicles will be conducted in the U.S., Mobileye’s home country of Israel, and in other parts of Europe. Other companies including Waymo and GM’s Cruise also maintain active test fleets for autonomous vehicles, and if Intel’s serious about being a primary player in this market, maintaining its own fleet is basically table stakes at this stage. The company opened an Autonomous Driving Garage in San Jose in May, and that will likely figure as a key center of operations for managing this new vehicle fleet.