LOS ANGELES - Intel ( INTC ) CEO Brian Krzanich on Wednesday touted a system-on-a-chip for use in self-driving cars that delivers more than two times the performance of a platform that rival Nvidia ( NVDA ) debuted to widespread publicity and praise last month.
[ibd-display-video id=2973475 width=50 float=left autostart=true] Nvidia in early October said its new Pegasus computing platform will enable the highest levels of autonomous driving and could find its way into ride-hailing taxis. In certain tech and media circles, the move was seen as evidence that Nvidia has become the leader in autonomous-driving technology.
But Krzanich, speaking at Automobility LA Wednesday, said Intel's EyeQ5 SOC, leveraging the advanced driver-assistance expertise of its Mobileye acquisition, offers best-in-class deep-learning performance efficiency - and 2.4 times the performance-per-watt "compared with the competition."
"The autonomous car is going to be one of the biggest data collectors, data generators that comes out in the next decade or so," Krzanich told the crowd. "It's not only gathering data about cars and vehicles around you, but capturing data on street signs, streetlights and other points of interest that allow us to navigate and drive safely.
While it was unclear whether or not the platform could find its way into the 100-car fleet of self-driving cars that Krzanich said Intel has under construction now and plans to roll out on public roads beginning next year, it seems unlikely. According to Mobileye, EyeQ5 targets Fully Autonomous Driving (Level 5) vehicles that will hit the road in 2020.
Krzanich added: "Where the rubber hits the road is deep learning - you have to turn that data into an understanding of the world, have high confidence in that, then (determine) how do I navigate from point A to point B."
While the new EyeQ5 SOC harnesses technologies from Israel-based Mobileye, Intel's recent $15.3 billion acquisition, Intel also has been working with Alphabet ( GOOGL )-unit Waymo on self-driving cars and has a self-driving coalition with Delphi Automotive ( DLPH ) and BMW ( BMWYY ), among other partners.
BMW said at Automobility LA on Tuesday that its autonomous cars, developed in partnership with Intel and Mobileye, will be on the road in 2021. "You can count on it," a board member from the German automaker said.
Krzanich argued no one company can go it alone on self-driving technology. "It truly takes a team to bring an autonomous vehicle, let alone an autonomous industry, to life," he said.
Intel, he affirmed, saw its job as an industry leader to get the public to trust cars that fully drive themselves.