Mobileye lands supply deal for 8M European cars

Mobileye inks largest-ever deal to provide self-driving tech for 8 million cars

Israel's Mobileye, a maker of self-driving vehicle technologies, has signed a deal to supply its advanced systems for eight million cars produced by a European automaker, Intel Corp. confirmed on Thursday. Neither financial terms, nor the name of the European carmaker, were disclosed.

Autonomous ride-hailing vehicles, often referred to as robo-taxis, might start operating around 2021. The goal is to generate revenue while the technology to enable fully autonomous steering in all conditions is years away from the mass application.

In January, Intel and Mobileye unveiled their first autonomous auto, equipped with 12 cameras and sensors that enable the cars to navigate the traffic by providing the vehicle with different fields of view.

By 2021, the deal is set to begin, when Intel's EyeQ5 chip, designed for a completely autonomous self-driving vehicle, will be released.

The future system will be available on a variety of the automaker's vehicle models that will have partial autonomy, meaning the auto is automatically driven but the driver must stay alert and be ready to take control if necessary, as well as models with more advanced levels of autonomy.

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Mobileye has claimed there are now about 27 million cars worldwide using some form of driver-assistance technology, and that it has a 70 percent share of the self-driving vehicle technology market.

"By the end of 2019, we expect over 100,000 Level 3 cars with Mobileye installed", said Amnon Shashua, Mobileye's chief executive.

The deal will give these vehicles Level 3 capability, which means the vehicle drives itself but the driver has about 10 seconds to resume control of the vehicle is something goes awry. It's now working with a number of automakers - General Motors, Nissan, Audi, BMW, Honda and Fiat Chrysler among them - on next-gen Level 3 driverless auto tech, to debut next year.

Shashua added that when self-driving auto technologies do come to market not long after 2021, they would nearly certainly debut on luxury vehicles, at a premium of about $12,000 per auto. Shashua said that for autonomous cars to make the best driving decisions, they will need to process data from a combination of cameras, high-definition maps, radar and lidar. "It's not unlike a human experience". "We would like to formalise these things in advance to allow machines not to get into unsafe situations to begin with".

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