Mobileye, Intel Corp’s Israel-based autonomous driving unit, has signed a contract to supply eight million cars at a European automaker with its self-driving technologies, a company official told Reuters.
Financial terms of the deal and the identity of the automaker were not disclosed.
The deal, one of the largest yet for Mobileye, is 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 while technology to enable fully automated driving in all conditions is still years away from mass-market deployment.
The deal for the advanced driver assisted systems will begin in 2021, when Intel’s EyeQ5 chip, which is designed for fully autonomous driving, is launched as an upgrade to the EyeQ4 that will be rolled out in the coming weeks, said Erez Dagan, senior vice president for advanced development and strategy at Mobileye.
Intel and Mobileye are competing with several rival chip and machine vision system manufacturers, including Nvidia Corp., to provide the brains and eyes of automated cars.
The future system will be available on a variety of the automaker’s car models that will have partial automation – where the car is automatically driven but the driver must stay alert – as well as models integrating a more advanced system of conditional automation.
Mobileye, bought by Intel last year for $15.3 billion, says there are some 27 million cars on the road from 25 automakers that use some sort of driver assistance system and Mobileye has a market share of more than 70 percent.
“By the end of 2019, we expect over 100,000 Level 3 cars with Mobileye installed,” said Amnon Shashua, Mobileye’s chief executive.
In Level 3, the car is self-driving but the driver has about 10 seconds to take over if the system is unable to continue.
Mobileye is working with a number of automakers, such as General Motors – for its Super Cruise system – Nissan, Audi, BMW, Honda, Fiat Chrysler and China’s Nio, to supply its Level 3 technologies by next year.
At its Jerusalem headquarters, Mobileye is also testing a more advanced Level 4 technology in Ford Fusion hybrids with 12 small cameras installed and four of the soon-to-be-released EyeQ4 chips in the trunk. In a test witnessed by Reuters reporters, these cars are able to drive on Jerusalem highways in midday traffic with no driver interference. -Reuters