LeBron James stars in Intel ad for self-driving cars

By AutoFOXBusiness

LeBron James warms up to a self-driving car in a new ad from Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), the company behind the first major ad campaign pushing the technology.

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Intel, which is working on software for autonomous vehicles, wants drivers to trust driverless cars. A 2016 study by Kelley Blue Book showed that half of U.S. drivers weren’t ready to give up control of their vehicles. With self-driving cars already hitting public roads, automakers and technology companies are beginning to address consumers’ apprehension about driverless cars.

Intel’s new ad features a reluctant James who takes one look at an empty driver’s seat and shakes his head, saying, “Nope.” The NBA star ultimately trusts the car, taking a ride in the back seat while the driverless sedan navigates itself around town. He closes the ad by saying, “I’m keeping this.”

Silicon Valley companies like Intel are competing for a leg up in the race to create the backbone of self-driving cars. Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Waymo has partnered with Lyft in its effort to develop the technology. Uber is also working on driverless cars, while Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) publicly confirmed its secretive self-driving car project in June. NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) on Tuesday revealed a chip made specifically for driverless vehicles, saying Deutsche Post DHL Group and auto supplier ZF plan to deploy autonomous delivery trucks using the new chip in 2019.

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Intel acquired Israeli self-driving car developer Mobileye for $15.3 billion earlier this year. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company also has an alliance with Fiat Chrysler (NASDAQ:FCAU) and BMW.

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