Intel is making a big bet on autonomous driving in 2018

It will also begin mapping roads for autonomous vehicles.

Now that Intel's MobilEye acquisition is complete, the tech titan is ready to get the ball rolling. In fact, we might see semi-autonomous vehicles powered by MobilEye's Road Experiment Management (REM) system as soon as this year. Intel has signed contracts with 11 carmakers, which will use the Level 2+ autonomous driving tech MobilEye developed, on vehicles slated to be released throughout 2018 and 2019. This particular technology will add semi-autonomous features, such as simple braking, steering and acceleration, to cars. It's worth noting, though, that REM was created to make fully autonomous cars possible, and that's still Intel's ultimate goal.

Intel and MobilEye will also begin gathering data to create near real-time maps for autonomous driving systems. They'll be relying on the software built into MobilEye's EyeQ4 system-on-a-chip that's embedded in 2 million cars -- BMWs, VWs, Nissans and other brands -- already on the road. The chip will use onboard sensors to build HD maps showing roads' current conditions, including incident reports and construction information.

Finally, Intel has forged a partnership with SAIC, China's largest automaker and Volkswagen's business partner in the country. The team-up gives Intel a presence in China, opening up the possibility of more alliances in the future.

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