Intel Looks to Unlikely Source to Market Autonomous Cars

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【Summary】One of the largest hurdles automakers and technology companies face when it comes to autonomous vehicles is consumer reception, which Intel hopes to solve with some help from LeBron James.

Vineeth Joel Patel    Oct 21, 2017 10:30 AM PT
Intel Looks to Unlikely Source to Market Autonomous Cars

Modern technology may be holding automakers and technology companies back from developing fully-autonomous Level 5 vehicles, but there's also another major thing that companies looking to put driverless cars on the road haven't really explored – the way the public looks at self-driving machines. For the record, the majority of study reveals that American drivers aren't that excited about driverless vehicles. 

Hacking is a major concern for drivers in the United States when it comes to autonomous vehicles, while trust is another large thing that drivers can't ignore. A report by Morning Consult revealed that only 22 percent of registered voters in the U.S. think that driverless cars are safer than the average human driver. If that's not shocking, the report also revealed that 35 percent of respondents claimed that driverless technology is not as safe as a human-operated vehicle. Clearly, automakers and technology companies have an uphill battle when it comes to showing U.S. drivers that autonomous vehicles are safer than human-operated ones. 

LeBron James To The Rescue

According to Mashable, Intel is looking to win drivers over by eliciting the help of NBA star LeBron James. As the outlet states, there's a new 38-second ad from Intel that puts LeBron in the backseat of what looks to be a Hyundai, Kia, or Genesis. James, who's hesitant to get into the vehicle in the beginning is giddy with joy after going on a short ride without a driver behind the wheel of the car. If autonomous cars are safe and cool enough for James, they're probably good enough for the average driver, right? At least that's the thinking behind the new ad. 

In the ad, James is portrayed to be a fearless leader on and off the court, but, as the majority of drivers, he's hesitant to get into the autonomous vehicle, especially as it doesn't have a driver. "It sees like 80 times better than you do," someone tells James, who then gets into the rear seat. After a short trip, James returns and says, "Hey y'all, I'm keepin' this." 

Intel's Plans For An Autonomous Future

Intel may be teaming up with James to help make autonomous cars look more attractive as the technology company recently partnered with Waymo, Google's self-driving division, to develop self-driving technology. The majority of semi-autonomous cars on the road today are Level 2, but Intel and Waymo are looking to create Level 4 and Level 5 machines sometime in the near future. The decision for Waymo and Intel to team up was an easy one, as Waymo's self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans utilize Intel tech. 

Unlike other technology companies, Intel believes that artificial intelligence is the key to making fully-self driving machines. "Self-driving technology can help prevent these errors by giving autonomous vehicles the capacity to learn from the collective experience of millions of cars – avoiding the mistakes of others and creating a safer driving environment," wrote Intel CEO Brian Krzanich in a blog post last month. 

Will seeing well-known stars like James use autonomous vehicles make them seem safer to the public? Only time will tell, but it's a step in the right direction, as automakers and technology companies will have a hard time making more self-driving vehicles more attractive to the majority of American drivers. James will surely help win some drivers over, especially young individuals who are familiar with the NBA player's performance on the court. 

via: Mashable, Intel

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