Fresh off its acquisition of auto-visual company Mobileye, Intel announced today that it will build a fleet of Level 4, fully self-driving vehicles for testing in the US, Israel, and Europe.
The first vehicles will hit the road later this year, and the fleet will eventually scale to more than 100 automobiles.
The cars will be Level 4 autonomous, meaning that they will be capable of handing most driving situations themselves, whereas Level 5 is largely theoretical and covers complete automation in any condition.
Intel announced plans to acquire Israel-based Mobileye for $15.3 billion back in March. That deal just closed on Tuesday, spurring the chipmaker to begin making aggressive moves in the emerging self-driving market that Intel itself predicted will come to be worth over $7 trillion. Intel previously said it will spend $250 million over the next two years on the development of autonomous vehicles.
The acquisition of Mobileye has clearly emboldened Intel, which, until recently, appeared to be more of a bystander in the race to build and deploy fully autonomous vehicles. Competitors like Google, Uber, and Tesla were racing ahead, the latter of which was working with Mobileye to round out Autopilot system. Tesla and Mobileye later split after the death of a man in Florida who was driving a Model S using Autopilot, allowing Intel to swoop in and seize the opportunity to make a big splash in the autonomous driving space.
To read more of the original article, go to The Verge.