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US chipmaker announces plans to develop self-driving platform for BMW

US chipmaker Intel Corp has announced that they have entered into a collaborative agreement with Delphi Automotive PLC and BMW to develop a highly-automated self-driving platform for the German automaker.

The development of self-driving technology is the dominant theme in the automotive industry and undoubtedly represents the future of the industry. This announcement mirrors several other similar collaborations between organizations that have combined resources in order to develop self-driving technologies in a more efficient manner.

At the official announcement it was confirmed that Delphi Automotive PLC will be tasked with the responsibility of handling the integration of components and software. BMW have disclosed that it intends for the new self-driving platform to be sold to other car manufacturers, who in turn may select their own systems integrators to customize the platform to suit their vehicles.

Analysts have claimed that alliances such as this between Intel, BMW and Delphi in relation to self-driving technology will spark further collaborations between different entities due to the cost, complexity and accelerated pace of development of autonomous vehicles. BMW's German rivals Daimler AG formed a similar alliance in April with supplier Robert Bosch GmbH to accelerate the development of self-driving cars.

In a statement issued to the press - a BMW spokesman said it expects over time there will be a ‘fairly small number' of self-driving platforms shared by most carmakers because of the phenomenal costs involved in integrating hardware, software and data. Chinese internet search firm Baidu Inc. also said it would make its new Apollo self-driving platform available to other companies.

In addition to this, Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo self-driving unit announced a self-driving vehicle partnership with Uber's main rival Lyft Inc. Delphi Automotive PLC have agreed to share with BMW alliance some of the work it has already completed on a separate self-driving platform project that it has been working on with Intel and Israeli vision system company Mobileye NV.

Delphi is expected to also provide radar and other sensors to the BMW self-driving platform, which is targeted for production in 2021.