The list of companies — both traditional and electric automakers like Ford, Honda, Mercedes-Benz and Tesla, as well as technology companies like Apple, Bosch, Google and Uber — that are testing self-driving car technology seems to be growing longer every day. German automaker BMW, which is already in that list, is likely to announce an expansion of its efforts Friday.
The luxury vehicle maker will hold a joint press conference with technology companies Intel Corp. and Israel-based Mobileye. A press release issued by Intel late Wednesday said only that the “three companies have something exciting to share” during the Friday conference. Analysts widely expect the announcement of a collaborative effort to develop autonomous driving technology.
A possible cooperation between the three companies would bring together a premium car manufacturer, one of the world’s leading chip makers and a software company that specializes in driver assistance systems.
Bloomberg quoted unnamed sources familiar with the matter to confirm the speculation. BMW has previously been a client of collision detection specialist Mobileye, which also works with General Motors Co. and Tesla Motors Inc. Intel and BMW have also been working together to bridge “the gap between two ecosystems — the desktop and the car.”
While Silicon Valley firms like Apple, Google and Tesla have been on the forefront of autonomous vehicle research, traditional car manufacturers were late to the party. They are now partnering with technology firms to get up to speed.
BMW had previously tied up with Chinese technology giant Baidu to develop a self-driving car for the Chinese market.
The joint press conference Friday will be held at 10 a.m. EDT, and will also be webcast live.