Having missed the smartphone boat, Intel has jumped firmly on the self-driving car bandwagon. Last year it linked up with carmaker BMW and car sensor maker Mobileye (which it later purchased) to develop a yet-to-be-named autonomous car platform. Today the Fiat Chrysler auto conglomerate joins the alliance. As with PCs before, Intel aims to not only provide components but also set standards for how whole systems—including software, data exchange, and user interfaces—will work together, Intel’s autonomous car chief, Jack Weast, recently told Fast Company.
“There’s a common bit of functionality that needs to exist in the systems,” he says. Intel needs alliances with car manufacturers to make that happen. Fiat Chrysler joins today to co-develop technology for level 3 (partly) and level 4/5 (fully) autonomous cars, which the consortium aims to have on the road by 2021. (Intel and BMW had already announced plans to launch a fleet of 100 autonomous test cars.) Along the way, they aim to sign up other car companies to license the technology that Intel and the founding members build. “It will be a system that’s licensable by any other automaker in the world [that] wants to use it,” says Weast.