BMW, Intel and Mobileye are working on a partnership to create self-driving car technology, company insiders have claimed.
While BMW and Intel are household names, it is in fact Mobileye which holds the key they are both looking for. Based in Jerusalem, Mobileye is a technology startup which produces the technology used by cars which can detect imminent collisions, then sound warnings and even apply the brakes to avoid a crash.
The technology appears in a wide range of vehicles, from Rolls-Royce and BMW, to Mini and Tesla, which uses it as part of its autonomous Autopilot feature. Mobileye also sells a retrofit kit for installing the collision avoidance system in company fleet cars, commercial vehicles and taxis.
Anonymous sources speaking to Bloomberg said senior executives from the three companies will attend a meeting on 1 July to discuss the three-pronged initiative.
The move could see BMW gain the technology know-how it needs to build semi- and fully-autonomous cars, both of which are set to become popular with consumers in the coming years.
For now, BMW only offers autonomous 'driver assistance', whereby some models, such as the 2016 7-Series, can speed up, slow down, stop and start in motorway traffic without the driver's involvement. The car can also steer to keep itself in lane, but the system requires the driver to keep hold of the wheel, and IBTimes UK found it felt less sophisticated and trustworthy than Tesla Autopilot. A partnership with Intel and Mobileye will likely work to change this.
As for Intel, the company is already the world's largest chip maker and will want to get involved with the dawning smart, connected and autonomous car industry. The company already produces hardware for car dashboard and infotainment system, so a move to autonomy isn't hard to imagine.
Corroborating the report, sources of Reuters "familiar with the matter" also claim the three companies are close to unveiling a development partnership.
IBTimes UK has request a comment from Mobileye, and will update this story when we get a reply.