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BMW, Intel, Mobileye hook up to bring self-driving cars to roadways by 2021

And not just some namby-pamby, semi-automation, either.

Rainer Häckl Photographie

Earlier, we reported on rumors that BMW and Intel were set to announce an autonomous-car partnership. Well, it didn't take long for that rumor to become fact, and the pairing managed to become a threesome. Now, Mobileye joins Intel and BMW in an attempt to get fully autonomous cars on roads by 2021.

Each member of the party brings something unique to the table. BMW obviously knows the automotive industry inside and out, Intel has its hands all up in the tech sector, and Mobileye's been making great progress in the fields of computer vision and machine learning. That's more or less the recipe for a self-driving car, as it turns out.

The ultimate goal is not only to create a car that drives itself, but a car that doesn't require active human attention. That is to say, they want to build a car where you don't even have to think about the fact that you're in a car. That will inevitably progress to a point where a human isn't even inside the car as it travels around -- think autonomous ride-sharing vehicles, heading around town, picking up and dropping off passengers.

This triumvirate also wants to help push an industry standard for autonomous driving, ultimately creating an open platform for full autonomy that can be used not only across the auto industry, but in other industries, as well.

There's already a roadmap, as well. Soon, the three will show off a prototype, and in 2017, it will experiment with autonomous test drives for fleets. The end goal is to put fully autonomous cars on roads by 2021. It's quite the task, but it's not like these three don't have the resources to make a go of it.

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