BMW, Intel and MobilEye just gave a roadmap for some of their self-driving-car plans. The trio expects to test autonomous cars on roads sometime in the second half of 2017. About 40 modified BMW 7 Series sedans will start roaming American and European streets as part of a global trial. The move should show how well their partnership works in practice. And that's just the start: The three have also revealed more about their broader plans.
The companies aren't treating this as a BMW exclusive. They're producing a "scalable architecture" that can be used by any car maker or developer, whether they just need individual parts or a full-fledged self-driving system. Think of this as a turnkey option for vehicle brands that can't justify creating all of their own autonomy technology from scratch.
It'll be years before you see production vehicles stemming from this collaboration. BMW's iNext won't arrive until 2021, and it's reasonable to presume that other auto brands will have to wait as long or longer to use the BMW/Intel/MobilEye platform for themselves. Look at it this way, though: combined with efforts from BlackBerry and other rivals, driverless vehicle tech just took one step closer toward becoming ubiquitous.
Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2017.