CES 2018: Mobileye to kick off 15 autonomous driving projects in 2018

Intel's autonomous driving company Mobileye is preparing to launch its EyeQ4 SoC in 2018, as well as launching 15 projects throughout the year across 14 car manufacturers.

Mobileye will be launching 15 autonomous driving projects during 2018 across 14 car manufacturers, the company has announced at CES 2018, up from the six projects undertaken during 2017.

CES 2018

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Mobileye, which was purchased by Intel last year for $15.3 billion, said four of these programs would be run using its EyeQ4 system on a chip (SoC), with 12 additional launches starting from 2019; two programs will use its Trifocal camera configuration; and all programs would have "full feature bundles".

According to Mobileye CEO and CTO professor Amnon Shashua, there are three areas critical for building the autonomous car: Sensing; road experience management (REM); and driving policies.

As a result, its "master plan" for 2018 involves working on its Level 4 (L4) -- or highly autonomous -- development partnerships; extending its L2+ program to increase the level of autonomy of in-production vehicles; working on REM as a data strategy; and forming safety standards with industry and regulatory bodies.

New features being launched during 2018 by Mobileye for its autonomous vehicle technology include REM, 3D vehicle detection (3DVD), traffic light detection and recognition, and advanced road features including free space and path prediction.

The building blocks of REM involve harvesting data, aggregating it, and localising it, with Mobileye currently preparing REM harvesting for 2018 production programs with BMW, Nissan, and VW. It is also cooperating with NavInfo and SAIC to bring REM into China, with ongoing harvesting deals with global OEMs set for 2019 and beyond.

See also: CES 2018 special coverage (CNET)

Mobileye will this month launch its new aftermarket device Mobileye 8 Connect, which Shashua said is additionally REM supported.

The company's 28nm EyeQ4H SoC, which will feature 6x VMP, 2x PMC, and 4x CPU, is going into series production from March 2018, and launching with four OEMs later in 2018 and 12 OEMs in 2019.

Shashua said Mobileye is currently utilising Intel's expertise and resources while working on the EyeQ5 SoC by opening it up to third parties as an open compute platform with SDKs and libraries for the first time ever. Intel is further helping create a fleet of 100 vehicles for testing, data collection, validation, and customer support; and providing 250Pb in datacentres to support fleet, validation, and customer support.

The first silicon of the 7nm EyeQ5H SoC is set to be produced in August 2018, with series production from March 2020 and four OEMs launching with it from 2020 onwards.

Current roadblock (RB) projects, meanwhile, involve preparing to cover all Japanese highways in cooperation with Nissan and Zenrin, which will be complete by mid-2018 and launch in late 2019; and ongoing deals with OEMs for RB usage for Level 2+ in 2019.

It is also partnering with Audi, BMW, Fiat-Chrysler, Honda, NIO, Nissan, and SAIC on L3 production from 2019; with BMW, Fiat-Chrysler, SAIC, NIO, and three OEMs on ongoing L4 sourcing decisions from 2020; and with Delphi Automotive on an L4 turnkey solution and central sensing localisation and planning (CSLP) platform.

Mobileye is additionally continually mapping neighbourhoods across the globe for supporting internal L4 development as a turnkey solution.

In regards to sensing, Shashua said one of the two central areas involves detecting road users and spatially compact objects, including vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, traffic signs, and traffic lights, which Shashua said is mature technology and in production already; while the second area of sensing -- parsing the roadway such as lane marks, road edges, path delimeters, and drivable paths -- is an "open problem" that Mobileye is continuing to work on.

Read also: Intel's Mobileye purchase may really be about thwarting Nvidia's car to cloud, data center connection | Intel buys Mobileye for $15.3 billion, eyes autonomous driving market, computer vision

In November, Intel had announced collaborating with Warner Bros to create in-car design and entertainment for autonomous vehicles.

"As driverless cars become a reality, we must start thinking of the automobile as a new type of consumer space," Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said at the time.

"We have barely scratched the surface in thinking about the way cars will be designed, the interaction among passengers, and how passengers will spend time while they are riding and not driving. In this respect, autonomous driving is today's biggest game changer, offering a new platform for innovation from in-cabin design and entertainment to life-saving safety systems."

Disclosure: Corinne Reichert travelled to CES 2018 in Las Vegas as a guest of Intel

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