Mobileye, the Israeli autonomous driving startup that was bought by Intel last year, announced that it had closed a deal with a European automaker to provide self-driving systems for 8 million vehicles, Reuters reported Wednesday.
Reuters described the deal, Mobileye’s largest one yet, as “a sign of how carmakers and suppliers are accelerating the introduction of features that automate certain driving tasks – such as highway driving and emergency braking – to generate revenue” even though fully automated driving remains “years away” from implementation in the mass-market.
The systems are to be installed beginning in 2021, using the Moblileye’s next-generation EyeQ5 chips, which are to be designed for fully autonomous driving. Intel intends to roll out its EyeQ4 chips in the near future, according to Erez Dagan, senior vice president for advanced development and strategy at Mobileye.
Mobileye, which is now a subsidiary of Intel, is one of a number of companies competing for the future autonomous driving market. Chipmaker Nvidia is also developing technology in this arena.
According to the terms of the contract, Mobileye will provide partial automation – requiring that the driver stay alert – for some of the manufacturer’s models and more advanced automation, requiring less input from the driver for other models.
Some 27 million cars produced by 25 different manufacturers currently on the road have some sort of driver assistance system, and Mobileye owns a 70% market share of those systems.
“By the end of 2019, we expect over 100,000 Level 3 cars with Mobileye installed,” said Amnon Shashua, Mobileye’s chief executive. Level 3, Reuters explained, means that a driver has about ten seconds to take over if the system is unable to continue operating.
Mobileye intends to supply General Motors – for its Super Cruise system – Nissan, Audi, BMW, Honda, Fiat Chrysler and China’s Nio, with its Level 3 technology by next year.
In Jerusalem, where Mobileye is headquartered, it has begun testing its Level 4 technology with Ford Fusion hybrids. These cars are equipped with twelve cameras, and 4 EyeQ4 chips, which will be commercially available soon. On recent tests, witnessed by Reuters, the cars were able to navigate Jerusalem’s highways without driver interference during middle-of-the-day traffic.
[Photo: Mobileye an Intel Company / YouTube ]