Israeli Company Partners With Global Auto Parts Maker to Develop Self-Driving System by 2019

Mobileye, an Israel-based company that developed an accident avoidance system for cars, is partnering with the automotive parts manufacturer Delphi to develop an autonomous driving system by 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Both Delphi, which spun off from General Motors, and Mobileye currently produce sensors and software that manufacturers use to build autonomous vehicle programs. However, while major automobile manufacturers generally outsource the production of individual car components to suppliers, they have sought to keep control over autonomous driving technology and aim to eventually develop it independently through in-house expertise. GM acquired an autonomous vehicle developer earlier this year, while Ford announced last week that it was investing or partnering with several companies in order to build a car without a steering wheel or pedals by 2021.

According to Kevin Clark, CEO of Delphi, the new partnership will let the suppliers “pool the investment as well as the technology and execution risk in one place so it doesn’t have to be duplicated by multiple [auto makers] over and over again.”

Delphi and Mobileye are committed to investing “several hundred million dollars” into their effort.

While others may be ready to produce driverless cars before the Delphi-Mobileye venture does, the partnership could appeal to smaller car companies that don’t have the resources to develop these systems on their own. Amnon Shashua, chairman and chief technology officer of Mobileye, said the joint venture also aims to compensate for a later release date by offering “a new level of driving intelligence,” which will simulate a live driver’s decision making process in complicated scenarios. “If we don’t want to clog a city with robotic systems that get stuck in busy traffic,” he said, “you must endow these systems with intelligence.”

[Photo: The Verge / YouTube ]