Tesla Crashes BMW-Mobileye-Intel Event

ronically, Tesla’s first fatal crash — involving a Tesla driver using his car’s auto-pilot mode — triggered one of the first questions asked at the BMW/Mobileye/Intel press conference Friday (July 1).

The accident, revealed Thursday, June 30, and currently under investigation by U.S. auto-safety regulators, is likely to direct more scrutiny toward autonomous driving technology, which thus far has evolved with little oversight.

The three-way partnership event in Munich was somewhat somber and low-key.

Top management of each partner company were on hand to discuss a ground-breaking initiative to develop an “open platform” for autonomous driving. The companies said the platform is being developed not just for themselves, but as a potential industry standard for others to join. No names of other carmakers or technology suppliers were mentioned, however. Harald Krüger, chairman of BMW’s board, noted that it is too early to tell who might join, but stressed that this is “a strategic approach” forged by the three companies.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich (left), Harald Kruger, chairman of BMW's board (middle), Amnon Shashua, Mobileye Co-founder CTO (right)

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich (left), Harald Krüger, chairman of BMW’s board (middle), Amnon Shashua, Mobileye Co-founder CTO (right)

Transparency needed
During the press conference, BMW’s Krüger said repeatedly that “Safety comes first.”

Speaking of the Tesla accident, Amnon Shashua, Mobileye's co-founder, CTO and chairman, said, “Companies need to be very transparent about limitations of the system. It’s not enough to tell the drivers to be alert, it needs to tell them why they need to be alert. It’s not just a lawyer talk.”

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