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Tech Company Intel May Just Have Become Ford’s ‘Frenemy’

To have Ford tell it, the self-driving-car future will be dominated by relationships between companies that are simultaneously friendly and competitive – “frenemy” relationships, in Silicon Valley parlance.

According to Business Insider, Ford may have just identified its latest “frenemy” in tech company Intel, which recently acquired Jerusalen-based company Mobileye for $15.3 billion. Mobileye makes hardware and software used in advanced driver-assist systems, and beginning in 2018, the company will work with BMW to draft high-definition maps for autonomous vehicles through crowdsourcing.

“The question for Ford is, are they a friend or foe,” said the automaker’s Executive Chairman, Bill Ford, during a panel at SXSW. He then asked: “If they are a foe can we turn them into a friend?”

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich might lean more toward “friend” than “foe.” He told CNBC in an interview: “We don’t come onto this scene as a threat, we come on as a known technology partner that will provide a solution. And so the car OEMs, which we have a great relationship with, don’t see us as trying to horde the data or take the data for us. They know we will build a partnership so that we can both benefit from the data and from the technology that’s going to be delivered.”

Business Insider reports that Intel is working to build a common self-driving-car platform that OEMs can adopt and build upon.

Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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