Intel’s subsidiary Mobileye has expanded its autonomous vehicle testing program to New York City as part of its strategy to develop and deploy the technology.
New York City joins several other cities, including Detroit, Paris, Shanghai and Tokyo, where Mobileye has either started trials or plans to this year. Mobileye launched its first test fleet in Jerusalem in 2018 and added one in Munich in 2020.
“If we want to build something that scales, we need to be able to drive in challenging places and almost everywhere,” Mobileye President and CEO Amnon Shashua Said during a presentation on Tuesday that was streamed live. As part of the announcement, Mobileye also released a 40-minute unedited video of one of its test vehicles equipped with a self-driving system navigating the streets of New York City.
These vehicles, which began testing in New York City last month, are driving autonomously with a security operator behind the wheel using only cameras. The vehicles are equipped with 8 long range and 4 parking cameras which are powered by its fifth generation system on a chip called iQ5.
That doesn’t mean Mobileye is taking a camera-only approach to autonomy once deployed. The company has also developed another subsystem with lidar and radar, but no camera that also moves autonomously. The two sub-systems of sensor and software will be combined and integrated to provide redundancy in the robotaxis. The camera-only subsystem Shashua describes as a “cost level to consumers” and one that will be used to develop the driving assist system. Later this year, Mobilieye’s camera-only system that uses the EyeQ5 SoC will be launched in a Geely Auto Group vehicle.
New York City has been in Shashua’s sights for more than six months. He The desire to test on public roads in New York was first mentioned in January during the virtual 2021 CES tech trade show, which the company would need to achieve regulatory approval. Now, with that regulatory approval, Mobileye is the only company currently allowed to test AVs in the state and city. GM’s self-driving subsidiary Cruise outlined plans to test the AV in New York in 2017 and even mapped out parts of lower Manhattan. The company never extended the testing program to NYC, instead deciding to focus on its primary target for commercial deployment: San Francisco.
Mobileye applied for the permit through New York State’s Autonomous Vehicle Technology Demonstration and Testing Program. According to Mobileye, the company met the requirements outlined in the program, including compliance with all federal standards and applicable New York State inspection standards, as well as the Law Enforcement Interaction Plan.
“I don’t think there’s anything special about getting approval, you just need to go through this process,” said Shashua, who described it as being lengthy and in some ways due to the stringent requirements to test in Germany. “I think what’s special is that it’s very difficult to drive here.”
Mobileye is perhaps best known for supplying automakers with the computer vision technology that powers advanced driver assistance systems. This is a business that generated approximately $967 million in sales for the company. There are 88 million vehicles on the road today using Mobileye’s computer vision technology.
Mobileye is also developing automated vehicle technology. Its complete self-driving stack – which includes redundant sensing subsystems based on camera, radar and lidar technology – is combined with its REM mapping system and a rules-based responsibility-sensitive safety (RSS) driving policy.
Mobileye’s REM mapping system crowdsources data by tapping into consumer and fleet vehicles equipped with its so-called EyeQ4, or fourth-generation systems on chip, to create high-definition maps that can be used in ADAS and autonomous driving systems. support can be done. That data is not video or images, but compressed text that collects about 10 kilobytes per kilometer. Mobileye has tied up with six OEMs, including BMW, Nissan and Volkswagen, to collect data on vehicles equipped with the iQ4 chip, which is used to power advanced driver assistance systems. On fleet vehicles, Mobileye collects data from an after-market product that it sells to commercial operators.
Mobileye’s technology is covering nearly 8 million kilometers around the world, including in New York City.
Shashua argues that the strategy will allow the company to efficiently launch and operate commercial robotic taxi services, as well as bring the technology to consumer passenger vehicles by 2025. Shashua explained this dual approach in an interview with ClearTips in 2020.
“There was the realization that came before us a while back,” he said at the time. “The holy grail of this business is passenger car autonomy: where you buy a passenger car and you pay an option price and with a press of a button it can take you autonomously wherever you are. Want to go. The realization is that you can’t reach that Holy Grail if you don’t go through the robotics business.”
On Tuesday, Shashua said that Mobileye is the only company that has found its footing in both camps. (Though it should be noted that Toyota’s woven planet has some strategic overlap.)
“We are building our technology in a way that supports scale, particularly at a geographic scale, by using our crowdsourced mapping technology and building new sensors such as the whole package – the whole system – the consumer. It would cost less than $5,000 to allow AVs, and on the other hand, we have a division manufacturing a mobility-as-a-service or robotics service,” Shashua said on Tuesday. “This is one of the reasons we purchased Moovit last year to enable customer facing all layers on top of self-driving systems to enable the mobility-as-a-service business.”