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Intel just hit the nitro in the self-driving car race

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Intel is all-in on autonomous cars.

The company’s autonomous vehicle division, Mobileye, has signed a deal to provide self-driving technology to eight million cars for a “European automaker,” Reuters reports, citing a company official. 

Intel has confirmed this agreement to Mashable, though the terms of the deal, and the identity of the automaker in question, have not been disclosed. 

The contract’s terms will kick in in 2021, when Intel’s new EyeQ5 chip, designed to power fully autonomous vehicles (i.e. Level 4 or 5 on the SAE scale), launches. 

This partnership is a big deal, not only for Intel, but for its competitors as well. 

Intel has long been competing with rivals Nvidia and AMD to provide the chips to power autonomous vehicles. Nvidia, at the end of last year, was poised to become the dominant manufacturer

Mobileye is currently working with a number of manufacturers, including General Motors, Nissan, Audi, BMW, Honda, and Fiat Chrysler to supply various levels of self-driving technology. A contract of this magnitude is a clear signal to any other company designing self-driving chips: Step up your game. 

UPDATE: May 17, 2018, 3:10 p.m. EDT Intel sent Mashable the following statement: 

We can confirm this agreement, although we are not releasing the name of the automaker or the terms. To clarify further, we have signed a deal to supply Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS), with advanced capabilities for eight million cars produced by a European automaker. Starting in 2021, the eight million units will be supplied over the life of the contract, which is typically five years in the automaker sector.

 

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