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Mobileye pledges to bring autonomous vehicles to everyone, everywhere

The Intel company is previewing the strategy and technology that will enable autonomous vehicles (AV) to fulfil their “lifesaving promise” globally at this week’s online CES2021 event.

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A self-driving vehicle from Mobileye's autonomous test fleet in Detroit
A self-driving vehicle from Mobileye's autonomous test fleet in Detroit

Mobileye, the self-driving subsidiary of Intel, has revealed its plans to make autonomous vehicles (AVs) widely affordable across the globe through use of “game-changing” lidar sensing technology designed to bring down vehicle production costs.

 

In a virtual presentation at CES 2021, Amnon Shashua, CEO of Mobileye, announced a technology ‘trinity’ to deliver on this promise, focused around: automated, crowdsourced worldwide autonomous vehicle (AV) mapping capability allowing it to expand its AV test fleets starting in Detroit, Tokyo, Shanghai, Paris and NYC; a lidar system-on-chip (SoC) for Mobileye use in AVs from 2025; and a planned software-defined radar customised to autonomous vehicles.

 

Road safety

 

The company envisions a future with AVs achieving enhanced radio- and light-based detection-and-ranging sensing, which is key to further raising the bar for road safety.

 

According to Shashua, Mobileye and Intel are introducing solutions that will innovatively deliver such advanced capabilities in radar and lidar for AVs while optimising computing- and cost-efficiencies.

 

“Getting the technology down to an affordable cost in line with the market for future AVs is crucial to enabling global proliferation,” he said.

 

“From the beginning, every part of our plan aims for rapid geographic and economic scalability – and today’s news shows how our innovations are enabling us to execute on that strategy.”

 

Mobileye’s solution starts with the inexpensive camera as the primary sensor combined with a secondary, truly redundant sensing system enabling safety-critical performance that it claims is at least “three orders of magnitude” safer than humans.

“Getting the technology down to an affordable cost in line with the market for future AVs is crucial to enabling global proliferation”

Using True Redundancy, Mobileye reports it can validate this level of performance faster and at a lower cost than those who are doing so with a fused system.

 

Mobileye said its software-defined imaging radar technology with 2,304 channels, 100DB dynamic range and 40 DBc side lobe level that together enable the radar to build a sensing state “good enough” for driving policy supporting autonomous driving.

 

Shashua also outlined how Intel’s specialised silicon photonics fab is able to put active and passive laser elements on a silicon chip. “This is really game-changing,” Shashua said of the lidar SoC, expected in 2025.

 

“Having fabs that are able to do that, that’s very rare. So this gives Intel a significant advantage in building these lidars.”

 

In a bid to demonstrate the scalable benefits of these automatic AV maps, Mobileye said it will start driving its AVs in four new countries without sending specialised engineers to those new locations. The company will instead send vehicles to local teams that support Mobileye customers. After appropriate training for safety, those vehicles will be able to drive.

 

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