Waymo and Intel Partnered to Launch Self Driving Cars

Waymo’s self-driving Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans feature Intel-based technologies for sensor processing general compute and connectivity enabling real-time decisions for full autonomy in city conditions

The partnership between Intel and Waymo began in 2009 when Intel supplied chips for the autonomous programme by Google before collaborating to install and develop autonomous vehicle technology for the Chrysler Minivans. Brian Krzanich, the Chief Executive at Intel, told Reuters that the company has created a customized piece if silicon, which fits the requirements of Waymo's sensor fusion and has tapped the processing power of Intel.

The chipmaker admitted it had worked with the company during the design of its compute platform to allow autonomous cars to process information in real time. Until recently, Intel has been viewed as a laggard behind rival Nvidia, a graphics processing chipmaker that is rapidly expanding into artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and self-driving cars.

Intel, which announced the $15 billion acquisition of autonomous vision company Mobileye in March, is pushing to expand in autonomous vehicles, a fast-growing industry, across a variety of business models.

The announcement marked the first time Waymo, formerly Google's autonomous program, has acknowledged a collaboration with a supplier.

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Underscoring the non-exclusive partnerships and collaborations in the space, Mobileye and Intel are in an alliance with German automaker BMW and Fiat-Chrysler to create an industrywide autonomous vehicle platform.

Numerous existing self-driving cars on U.S. roads, including Waymo's, are now within or close to level 4 autonomy, making it one step away from being advanced enough to be fully autonomous. Google started working on the problem back in 2009, then in 2016 spun the project out as a company in its own right called Waymo. Second, Waymo is serious about its fully autonomous vehicle to the point that it is building its own proprietary computer technology that will include integrating Intel's processors into its own platform.

The computer chipmaker has been hinting the whole world on their ideas and developments in regards to generating the next big self-driving vehicle.

In a trip taken in October 2015, a pod-like auto with no steering wheel and brake pads drove a legally blind passenger around neighborhoods in Austin, Texas without another human in the vehicle.