Intel chips loaded in Waymo self-driving minivans

Waymo CEO John Krafcik displays a customized Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid at the Detroit auto show that will be used for Google's au
Waymo CEO John Krafcik displays a customized Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid at the Detroit auto show that will be used for Google's autonomous vehicle program

Intel on Monday announced its computing tech is being loaded into Waymo self-driving minivans as the chip giant seeks a leading position on the road to autonomous vehicles.

Intel computing technology enabling "real-time decisions for full autonomy in city conditions" has been built into the latest self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans being tested by Waymo, a unit of Google-parent Alphabet, according to Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich.

"Given the pace at which is coming to life, I fully expect my children's children will never have to drive a car," the 57-year-old Krzanich said in a blog post.

"That's an astounding thought: Something almost 90 percent of Americans do every day will end within a generation."

High-performance hardware and software is required to enable to interpret what is happening around them and respond in real time.

Intel, which has been expanding beyond its core of computer chipmaking, is keen for its technology to be an engine powering self-driving systems across the spectrum of vehicle makers.

Intel announced plans for its own fleet of last month following its completion of the purchase of Israeli autonomous technology firm Mobileye.

A day after closing the $15 billion deal to buy Mobileye, which specializes in driver-assistance systems, Intel said it will begin rolling out later this year for testing in Europe, Israel, and the United States.

The fleet will eventually have more than 100 vehicles, according to Intel.

"Building cars and testing them in real-world conditions provides immediate feedback and will accelerate delivery of technologies and solutions for highly and fully ," said Mobileye co-founder Amnon Shashua, who is to run the unit for Intel.

"Our goal is to develop autonomous technology that can be deployed anywhere."

Most major automakers and several other technology firms have been stepping up efforts on autonomous driving in recent years, contending these systems will eliminate the vast majority of road accidents. Apple has a testing permit in California.

US-based Tesla boasts that all its models are built with the hardware for self-driving in event regulators give the technology a green light.

US car rental giant Avis Budget earlier this year announced it will team up with Waymo on the self-driving cars being tested on Arizona roads.

© 2017 AFP

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