Intel, BMW, Mobileye add Delphi to autonomous auto tech super-group

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Delphi Automotive (DLPH), the technology company serving the automotive sector, is joining a BMW-led consortium that is working to develop a fully self-driving vehicle by 2021, the Financial Times reports.

BMW, a German automaker, chipmaking company Intel, and Israel-based tech company Mobileye announced past year that they would join together to create a fully automated driving system for production by 2021.

Automotive and tech companies continue to form new partnerships surrounding self-driving auto development at a feverish pace.

Fresh on the heels of its Powertrain Systems spinoff, Delphi has announced a new collaboration on autonomous vehicles.

"Delphi has already provided a prototype compute platform to the BMW Group and is working together with Intel and Mobileye in the areas of perception, sensor fusion and high performance automated driving computing". Richard Rau, the head of the company's sensors, control units and software group, stated that it's in "very deep discussions" to bring other automakers aboard. The Audi, equipped with Delphi's systems and sensors from partners, including Mobileye, handled busy Las Vegas streets with seeming ease.

These three companies forged an alliance in July, with the target of playing a role in fully automated vehicles going to series production by 2021. Here is positioning itself to be a key supplier of maps for self-driving cars.

During a conference call with reporters to discuss the partnership, executives from the four companies said alliances like theirs will become more common in the future as partners try to share costs and expertise.

"In the long run there will on be a few platforms left", he said.

Delphi now produces electrical wiring architecture, computing platforms and autonomous driving software. Intel has computing hardware and data centers and mapping that will help cars make decisions, while BMW makes autos and has its own autonomous vehicle technology. But how about all the other cars that are more than a year old?

If the intermingling of the players involved in Tuesday's announcement sounds familiar, that's because they're already working with each other on a variety of separate autonomous-vehicle project permutations.

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