Mobileye Snags 8M Car Deal in Europe

A Ford Fusion used as a testbed by Intel's Mobileye self-driving car division

Eight million European vehicles are going to be "Intel Inside" after Mobileye, Intel Corp.'s Israel-based autonomous driving unit, inked a deal to supply a European automaker with its self-driving technologies. No financial terms of the deal have been disclosed. Amnon Shashua, the co-founder and CEO of Mobileye, said the company has started testing its self-driving cars on highways around Jerusalem in recent months. The goal is to generate revenue while the technology to enable fully autonomous steering in all conditions is years away from the mass application.

Intel has always been competing with rivals Nvidia and AMD to provide the chips to power autonomous vehicles.

The deal would be the largest yet for Mobileye, Reuters said, and envisages the Jerusalem-based company supplying the European carmaker with its EyeQ5 chips, for advanced driver assisted systems, starting in 2021, when the chips will be launched.

The future system will be available for a variety of auto models that will have partial automation in which the vehicle is driven automatically, but the driver needs to be alert as well as models integrating a more advanced conditional automation system.

There are now roughly 27 million cars from 25 different automakers that used some type of advanced driver-assist systems, with Mobileye making up more than 70 percent of the market share.

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Mobileye is estimating that there will be over 100,000 vehicles carrying Level 3 self-driving classification with their chips installed.

According to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), level 3 autonomy is defined as a system that can safely control all aspects of driving in a mapped environment.

Some of the automakers that Mobileye will be working with are Audi, BMW, Chrysler, General Motors, Honda, Nissan, and Chinese carmarker Nio.

"When designing our system we are looking at all what can be used today, in a year, in two years and then the robo-taxi", Shashua told Reuters.

He noted that about that time, some of the more expensive luxury cars for personal use, and possibly some medium-priced vehicles, will use the same technologies - for an extra cost of about $12,000 per auto. The cars drive completely autonomously and are driving every day, he said. The companies will add a layer of LIDAR and radar in the next few weeks. "It's not unlike a human experience".

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