Mobileye, a Jerusalem-based provider of driver-assistance tech systems, has announced its desire to help develop a driverless car.
The manufacturer, which announced it had raised $400 million in financing last July, is currently valued at about $1.5 billion, according to The New York Times.
At the time, Mobileye co-founder and CEO Ziv Aviram told The Times that he hoped to develop a semiautonomous vehicle in the next couple of years.
“It’s a camera and a chip, with no exotic technology,” Aviram said. “It’s the most cost-efficient system that’s out there.”
Aviram’s dream is apparently moving closer to reality.
According to Haaretz, Mobileye is now collaborating with Tesla, and is working on creating a cost-efficient system in Israel.
This new system incorporates five different cameras to synchronize with a vehicle’s navigation system, ensuring a safe experience for passengers. Each car would be fitted with two cameras in front, one in the back and one on each side of the vehicle, ensuring cars are able to perform various tasks including stay equidistant from other vehicles, identify traffic lights, cross intersections and even change lanes.
Aviram hopes that his system will attract buyers put off by Google’s more complicated, and possibly more expensive system. But how does it drive?
John Maskoff took an Audi A7 outfitted with a Mobileye Vision Technologies system for a spin in Jerusalem and wrote about it for The Times. Noting that the Mobileye car is not quite as sophisticated as its Google rival, Maskoff said Mobileye hopes its system will be easier to mass produce.
Speaking with TheMarker, Mobileye founder Prof. Amnon Shashua made sure to clarify that their system would not provide a completely automated experience.
“This is not automatic driving in which the driver types an address and goes to sleep,” Shashua said, according to Haaretz. “The system allows control to be given to it for a limited period. You can read a text message or change the radio station and give temporary control to the cameras.”
Ultimately in a best-case scenario, driverless, self-driving, and autonomous driving technologies have the potential to “deliver improved safety and comfort for the driver and passengers, while reducing the vehicle’s impact on the environment around it and reducing the cost to the driver,” writes Fast Company.