By working closely with Waymo, Intel can offer Waymo's fleet of vehicles the advanced processing power required for what is known as level 4 and 5 autonomy - the former being "high automation", in which the vehicle will act appropriately in the event a driver does not respond to a request to intervene, while the latter is "full automation". The computer hardware maker will provide the processing components for this project. With Intel, Waymo's autonomous cars have covered more ground than any other fleet of autonomous cars now in operation, acquiring over 3 million miles of cumulative road travel - Waymo's actual mileage is higher than this, however, as the company reached 3 million miles on its own by May, and that's after all the progress it made in 2016.
Intel, which announced the $15 billion acquisition of autonomous vision company Mobileye in March, is pushing to expand its real estate in autonomous vehicles, a fast-growing industry.
Waymo, which has developed its own sensors, is not using the autonomous vision system created by Mobileye. The hybrid vehicles are expected to form part of Google's ridesharing service, and are already being tested in California.
But Waymo hasn't talked a lot about its computing platform, or about the fact that Intel was working with the company to integrate chips that allow the minivans to process the large tranches of information coming in from the sensors on these vehicles.
Considering 90% of vehicular accidents are caused by human error, self driving cars are an important development, Krzanich said.
We're looking forward to having these new vehicles on public roads in 2017.' To underscore his point, Krafcik revealed the project had hit a key milestone in the journey to having fully autonomous cars cruising around public roads. Its vehicles are reported to be level 4 automated - where all aspects of driving are auto-controlled with no need for human intervention - self driving cars that it says will hit the roads later this year.