BMW's first autonomous model could get more advanced tech sooner, thanks to Intel's acquisition of driverless car technology company Mobileye

Development of the BMW iNext autonomous car looks set to benefit from a new business deal in which BMW technology partner Intel will purchase Israeli driverless car technology company Mobileye.

The acquisition is worth about £12 billion and will enable the two brands to combine their driverless software and hardware know-how, speeding up the rate of development of the autonomous vehicle systems that will end up in the iNext, which is due in 2021.

The electric car is planned to offer level three (eyes off) autonomy, with level five (driver off) autonomy a possibility. The new Intel deal could be pivotal in fast-tracking level five full autonomy into the model from its launch.

BMW i driverless tech to reach wider range from 2021

Intel said: “The acquisition will couple the best-in-class technologies from both companies, including Intel’s high-performance computing and connectivity expertise and Mobileye’s leading computer vision expertise to create automated driving solutions from the cloud through the network to the car.

“The combination is expected to accelerate innovation for the automotive industry and position Intel as a leading technology provider in the fast-growing market for highly and fully autonomous vehicles.”

Intel expects the vehicle systems, data and services market to be worth more than £55bn by 2030. It said purchasing Mobileye comes as part of its strategy to invest in data-intensive market opportunities that “build on the company’s strengths in computing and connectivity from the cloud, through the network, to the device”.

BMW’s collaboration with Intel and Mobileye began last July and was strengthened in December when it opened a new development centre for autonomous vehicles near Munich. The companies will move testing onto public roads this year, when a fleet of autonomous 7 Series will be driven in Europe and the US.

Our Verdict

BMW 7 Series

New-generation luxury saloon is a technological tour de force

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Audi RS4 Avant
    First Drive
    22 January 2018
    We get our hands on the barnstorming Audi RS4 Avant in the UK to see if this fast family estate can take the fight to the Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate
  • BMW X3
    Car review
    19 January 2018
    The stakes have never been higher for BMW’s mid-sized SUV, now the X3 in its third generation. So can it deliver?
  • Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    19 January 2018
    Better looks, better value, better range, stronger performance and a quiet and relaxing drive make the Nissan Leaf a leading EV contender again
  • Volkswagen Up GTI
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Funky, light, enjoyable and even reasonably priced, the Volkswagen Up GTI is a car to be appreciated on its own compelling terms
  • Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI 110 Redline
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Our first flavour of the 1.0 TSI-engined Skoda Fabia on UK roads shows it’s versatile but not all that sporty