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Intel Labs: Making Smart Cars Safer Through Collaboration

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[Conference attendees including an autonomous race car (left) and an autonomous research vehicle (right)]

In October 2019, Intel Labs successfully launched the third European Intel Collaborative Research Center at Intel Karlsruhe. Its purpose? Shaping the future of autonomous driving.

Intel Labs runs a worldwide network of university research communities that help further develop emerging technologies in various fields, including the IoT, AI, and 5G connectivity. These communities are known as the Intel Collaborative Research Centers (ICRIs).

Our newest ICRI’s opening was celebrated with a kickoff conference attended by Intel leaders, industry researchers, and academic partners such as the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT), the Forschungszentrum Informatik (FZI), Fortiss, and Fraunhofer.

The ICRI at Intel Karlsruhe specializes in Safe Automated Vehicles (SAVe) and, in collaboration with academic institutes throughout Europe, will work on advancing the functionality and safety of automated driving vehicles.

To learn more, we spoke with the Director of Intel Labs Europe, Astrid Elbe, about the critical research and ongoing innovation happening at Intel Labs and how these collaborations are playing a key role in advancing future technologies.

What would you say is the main purpose of Intel Labs in Europe?

We are here to make Intelligent Autonomous Systems safe and secure, be it automated driving vehicles or drones.

What institutions do Intel Labs collaborate with and how are projects selected?

Currently, in the United States, we work with MIT, Harvard University, and the University of California, Los Angeles, among others. In Europe, we identify the leading universities that are known for a specific area of research.

Large university centers participate in a Request for Proposals. The best proposals are then selected by a technical committee consisting of technical leaders from Intel Labs and Intel Business Groups. We fund grants between $500k - $1.5M per year to large universities and research institutes. They can use these grants for projects. Medium-sized institutions and single principal investigator grants can also be supported. What is very important for us is to encourage the groups to publish the results. Often publications are written by PhD students in close collaboration with Intel Labs researchers.

What are the benefits of these collaborations?

We try to create more awareness for Intel regarding talent search and our access to future developer communities. We call this the Intel mindshare. As mentioned, research results and publications are important for us because we would like to use the results and try to implement them into new Intel products. Another big benefit is the early customer engagement and feedback. For example, we have had collaborative projects between universities and customers like BMW or Siemens.

What’s your dream for Intel Labs Europe?

That we make autonomous driving safe and secure, powered by Intel technologies, and that we help bring it to the whole world!

Still curious about Intel Labs and our collaborative research centers? Learn more here.  https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/research/overview.html
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