By 2021, we will likely live in a world with self-driving cars. And the race to get there is getting very competitive: Beyond Mobileye, here are the key players
It increasingly seems like we’ll be living in a world where children born today will no longer need to learn how to drive.
On Tuesday, Jerusalem-based Mobileye announced that it is partnering with automotive technology company Delphi to develop self-driving systems for auto manufacturers. This comes less than a month after Mobileye ended its contract with Tesla, likely due to the bad press Tesla received after a Tesla driver died while using the car’s autopilot mode, marking the first fatality among self-driving vehicle users.
While Mobileye’s stocks have fared poorly since severing ties with Tesla and Delphi’s stocks are also currently down about 6 percent, both companies must hope that this new partnership will not only increase their stocks, but position them as a capable team in the midst of an increasingly competitive technological race to develop the winning autonomous vehicle.
Professor Amnon Shashua, Mobileye Co-Founder, Chairman and CTO, also clarified that Mobileye’s relationship to Delphi, which was originally a GM spinoff, is not new. “The Mobileye and Delphi relationship started in 2002 with the implementation of what was one of the most advanced active safety systems of the time. Our long history together is key to the success of this ambitious endeavor,” he stated.
Specifically, they aim to develop an “SAE Level 4/5 automated driving solution,” which in laymans terms means that their technology will help cars either be highly automated or fully automated, according to the standards of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
In their announcement, they wrote that they will debut their driving solution at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, 2017, and production of the system will be ready by 2019. However, the companies conceded to the Wall Street Journal that, “Integrating their tech in future vehicles could take as much as two years … making it unlikely to hit the market until 2021 or 2022.”
Geektime has reached out to Mobileye for comment and will update this article if they respond.
Who else is developing self-driving cars?
More and more, it looks like every auto manufacturer and ridesharing company is making big moves towards autonomous vehicles.
While Delphi (originally a GM spinoff) and Mobileye claim to be investing hundreds of millions of dollars in their partnership and are on a similar timeline as Ford, which plans to release self-driving vehicles to the public by 2021, the Wall Street Journal claims they are notably behind others. They report that GM, Alphabet, Inc. (Google’s parent company), Volvo, Nissan, and Tesla have hinted that they aim to get autonomous cars out for sale by 2020, if not before then.
Just this week, Uber announced that its first fleet of self-driving taxis (which is using Ford models) will arrive for testing in Pittsburgh by the end of the month and that it had acquired less than year-old Otto, a company developing autonomous driving technology for trucks, for $680 million. Meanwhile, GM and Lyft aim to release their own self-driving taxis for pilot use within the next eight months.
For more information about self-driving cars, you can read Geektime’s coverage below: