CES 2019: Intel details autonomous vehicle trial in Israel

Intel is extending its autonomous driving trials in Israel to provide an entire mobility-as-a-service offering across car, software, platform, mapping, and safety mechanisms.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Intel's Mobileye is trialling autonomous vehicles on the streets of Jerusalem in a bid to test safety systems and navigation around heavy traffic and "aggressive" driving, Intel SVP and GM of Network Platforms Sandra Rivera told ZDNet.

Speaking with ZDNet at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, Rivera said Intel is working with the Israeli government to ensure a safer environment for autonomous vehicles through Mobileye's open Responsibility-Sensitive Safety (RSS) software model.

"In Israel, one of the things that we're doing ... is how do we really provide the data to support the fact that these vehicles are safe," she said.

"Then how do we also have the data to support the fact that in real city driving and congested areas and even some aggressive driving that happens in Jerusalem, that you can actually have a vehicle behave in the way that a person would, either in terms of merging in or anticipating cars that are trying to merge in ahead of you."

Such driving decisions that humans take for granted are being implemented through advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), she told ZDNet.

"[With] more intelligence in the vehicle, you're able to have a very natural and safe experience in autonomous vehicles," Rivera said.

Mobileye's cars can see around them with eight cameras providing long-range view and four cameras being used for parking.

"Cameras are the only real-time sensors for figuring out the drivable paths, and reading signs," Intel explained.

Mobileye is next working on providing an entire "mobility-as-a-service" offering in Jerusalem, where the company provides the car, the software, the platform, the mapping, and all of the safety mechanisms.

"That's a pilot that we're doing there as well," she said.

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One of the many autonomous vehicle proofs of concept Mobileye has going on in China, meanwhile, sees it working with Alibaba on a 200km stretch of road in Guangzhou. Along the highway, roadside units have been installed to communicate with the car to form what Rivera calls a "low-latency smart highway".

Intel is even exploring what it will mean to be a passenger inside an autonomous vehicle, showcasing alongside Warner Bros at CES 2019 a concept car for 5G-powered entertainment.

"The advent of autonomous driving is creating a number of unprecedented business opportunities for entertainment companies," Intel said.

"Warner Bros is teaming with Intel to leverage new computing and design models to re-imagine the experience of being a passenger ... while keeping them safe."

During CES 2019, Mobileye announced a series of deals and projects, including to bring autonomous capabilities to public transport in China, have its safety system adopted by Chinese companies and standards bodies, and to deliver autonomous driving solutions to Great Wall Motors.

Beijing Public Transport Corporation (BPTC) and Beijing Beytai will be collaborating with Mobileye to commercially deploy autonomous public transport services across China, using the Mobileye AV Series hardware and software self-driving system for level 4 driverless capabilities.

The hardware supplied by Mobileye's L4 AV kit includes cameras, cables, modems, GPS, and other mechanical components powered by its EyeQ5 system on a chip (SoC).

It is also supplying the driving policy behind the project, which involves using proprietary algorithms that allow vehicles to "negotiate" with human-driven vehicles on the road.

The deal with Great Wall Motors, meanwhile, could see Mobileye deliver advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) from L0 to L2+ to the automaker under a proposed collaboration over the next three to five years.

Mobileye's RSS system has also gained traction in China, with Baidu saying it will adopt RSS as part of its Apollo Project, while standards body China ITS has also approved a proposal to use RSS as the foundation for automated vehicle safety standards.

Mobileye already provides autonomous safety features including forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane-keeping assist to 25 automakers worldwide, and earlier this week announced signing an agreement with United Kingdom mapping agency Ordnance Survey to provide high-precision location data.

Disclosure: Corinne Reichert travelled as a guest of Intel to CES 2019 in Las Vegas

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