Intel eyes safety of self-driving cars, robots with IoT acquisition

Intel acquired Yogitech, an Italian company that will provide circuits and tools to reduce faults in decisions made by self-driving cars or IoT devices.

Intel logo

The Intel logo on display at Computex 2015 in Taipei.

Credit: Martyn Williams

Intel has its eyes on making self-driving cars, robots and industrial equipment safer with a new acquisition.

The chip maker has acquired Italian company Yogitech, which provides circuits and software tools for IoT devices to automate decision-making based on data patterns. Intel declined to comment how much it paid to buy the company.

Intel will put Yogitech's technology to work in its IoT products, with an emphasis on safety for automated devices. The technology is designed to keep circuits functional and prevent device failure.

Yogitech's circuitry will also provide straightforward verification mechanisms for safety decisions made by IoT devices.

Intel provides chips for IoT devices. Its Atom and Quark chips are used in IoT devices, and it bundles hardware- and software-based security and networking layers in with those chips.

An obvious use for Yogitech's technology is in self-driving vehicles, where the circuitry can be used to reduce errors related to braking and identification of objects. Device failures in self-driving cars could be catastrophic and cost lives.

It could also be used in industrial machines, where the chances of equipment hurting the process or a worker could be reduced. Overall, it could help improve the productivity of factories.

Intel has been making many minor acquisitions as it chases the fast-growing IoT market. A recent acquisition was German company Ascending Technologies, which makes so-called "auto-pilot" software so drones can avoid obstacles and collisions.

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