Intel creates a dedicated autonomous car group

News emerged earlier this week that chipmakers Intel are partnering with auto supplier Delphi Automotive, and vision systems developer Mobileye, to create self-driving technology. Intel has now followed this up with an announcement that its autonomous efforts are to be encompassed within a new business group.

Intel’s Automated Driving Group (ADG) will be headed up by Doug Davis, who has previously led the Internet of Things (IoT) unit. Davis has been at the company for 30 years, and had actually announced his retirement in August, but has now delayed it so he can become senior vice president and general manager of ADG.  

“Throughout his career, Doug has consistently been on the leading side of disruption – standing up amazing new technologies that redefine how we experience work and life,” Murthy Renduchintala, president of Intel’s Internet of Things (IoT) businesses and systems architecture group, said in a blog post.

”Doug sees the new Automated Driving Group as another not-to-be missed opportunity to lead through disruption, so much so that he has postponed his retirement to become the senior vice president and general manager of the new ADG,” said Renduchintala.

Joining Davis will be Kathy Winter, who was previously vice president of software and services for automated driving at Delphi. Winter will be vice president and general manager of ADG. Replacing Davis as IoT head will be Tom Lantzsch, who is coming from rivals ARM, where he was executive vice president of strategy.

The creation of ADG marks a significant move for a company that has undergone something of a transformation in recent years. CEO Brian Krzanich recently talking about Intel’s focus on powering the “next wave of computing”.

“We’re really evolving to be a company that powers all the billions of smart and connected devices, and to look at that you have to think about the importance of artificial intelligence; a critical component in those connected devices,” Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said on stage at the firm’s AI Day. “We are looking at investing – through our technology and acquisitions – to build and fuel AI across everything we do.”

In terms of autonomous driving technology, Intel has some catching up to do on other processor manufacturers, such as Qualcomm and Nvidia. Tesla announced that the latter’s Nvidia’s Drive PX2 will be the onboard “supercomputer” for all of its vehicles. Intel has said that it plans on announcing a processing chip built specifically for autonomous cars in the “near future”.

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