Mobileye: Mapping Tech To Be Profitable Long Before Self-Driving Vehicles Hit The Road

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The mapping tech that Mobileye uses in relation to it’s self-driving vehicle tech development will be profitable long before fully autonomous vehicles actually start to be deployed on a large scale, according to the company’s chairman, Amnon Shashua.

Image via Arielinson (some rights reserved)

In an interview with Reuters, Shashua noted that this is because the mapping tech can be used in conjunction with a large variety of different semi-autonomous driving and convenience features.

In relation to these comments, the Mobileye head revealed that the company expects to begin announcing new deals with various auto manufacturers by the end of the year relating to its high-definition (HD) maps.

As a note here, it should probably be remembered that Mobileye is currently in the process of being acquired by Intel, for around $15.3 billion (a record deal on a couple of fronts).

Commenting on the value of the company’s high-definition maps, Shashua stated: “We can enable hands-free driving to levels that are much higher than with any sensor (alone).” Reuters provides more:

“The Israeli company also believes its mapping technology will be cheaper and more comprehensive than rival systems because of the way it is created.

“Whereas traditional HD mapping requires dedicated vehicles with specialized equipment and hired drivers, Mobileye’s RoadBook uses hardware in vehicles to ‘crowdsource’ data.

“Nissan, Volkswagen, and BMW have already signed up to share data from Mobileye’s camera-equipped advanced driver assistance systems to generate HD maps for self-driving cars, and Shashua said four more manufacturers were in talks about joining the program.”

In addition to the comments about the company’s mapping technology, Shashua also made interesting comments about near-term prospects for fully autonomous cars: “If the expectation is for zero accidents, that isn’t realistic.”

He then went on to note that he believed that “society would accept fatalities that are 2-3 orders of magnitude smaller than with people-driven cars, meaning a decline to as few as 35 fatalities annually in the United States from around 35,000 today,” as paraphrased by Reuters.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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