Alphabet's self-driving car program, Waymo, is partnering with Intel to harness the hardware manufacturer's processing power in their self-driving vehicles.
In a blog post today, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced that the two companies would be working together to achieve Level 4 and 5 autonomous driving in real-world conditions for Waymo's fleet of self-driving vehicles.
The company's latest Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans already feature Intel hardware for vehicle sensor data processing, general connectivity and computing tasks.
As Waymo's self-driving car tech gets more advanced and efficient over time, the two hope their collaboration will allow Waymo's vehicles to stay on the cutting edge.
Although a future where our cars drive themselves is an intriguing concept on its own, one major benefit it would offer is a vast improvement in overall driver safety.
As Krzanich noted in the blog post, nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes worldwide every year. That works out to an average of 3,287 deaths a day. With self-driving cars, human error is removed from the equation, theoretically resulting in a significant decrease in accidents and deaths.
Krzanich believes that such a future is closer than many might think. "Given the pace at which autonomous driving is coming to life, I fully expect my children’s children will never have to drive a car. That’s an astounding thought," the CEO said. "Something almost 90 percent of Americans do every day will end within a generation."
While Krzanich might be optimistic about the rate at which self-driving car tech is advancing, there are still plenty of hurdles including regulatory standards and insurance liability issues for companies like Intel and Waymo to overcome.