Intel subsidiary Mobileye and car rental giant Sixt SE plan to launch a robotaxi service in Munich next year, the CEOs of the two companies said on Tuesday at IAA Mobility in Germany.
The robotaxi service draws on all of Intel’s, and most notably Mobileye’s, assets that have been in development or purchased in recent years, including the $ 900 million acquisition in 2020 of Moovit, an Israeli startup that analyzes urban traffic patterns and provides transport recommendations with a focus on public transport.
Thanks to this partnership, cyclists will be able to access the robotaxi service via the Moovit app. The service will also be offered through Sixt’s Mobility ONE app, which allows customers to hail a trip, rent, share or subscribe to vehicles.
It won’t be a full-scale commercial service at first. The Mobileye robotaxis is expected to start with a test program for first passengers on the streets of Munich in 2022. If this mimics other programs for first passengers, the service will likely invite and then approve small groups of riders, then scale to go from there. The fleet will then move from test operations to commercial operations after regulatory approval, the companies said.
Intel and Mobileye plan to expand the service across Germany and other European countries later this decade. The companies chose Germany, a country where Mobileye is already testing its autonomous vehicle technology, because of a recently enacted law that allows driverless vehicles on public roads.
“Germany has shown global leadership towards a future of autonomous mobility by accelerating crucial AV legislation,” Intel CEO Gelsinger told the IAA on Tuesday. “Our ability to start robotaxi operations in Munich next year would not be possible without this new law.”
During the IAA keynote, Mobileye also unveiled the vehicles marked MoovitAV and SIXT. The vehicles, which are equipped with Mobileye’s autonomous driving system, will be produced in large quantities and used for the robotaxi service in Germany, the companies said.
While Mobileye is perhaps best known for providing automakers with computer vision technology that powers advanced driver assistance systems – a company that generated nearly $ 967 million in sales last year – the company has also developed automated vehicle technology.
The self-driving system, now known as Mobileye Drive, is made up of a system-on-a-chip based computation, redundant detection subsystems based on camera, radar and lidar technology, its REM mapping system and security based on responsibility and security. conduct policy (RSS). Mobileye’s REM mapping system essentially collects data by leveraging over one million vehicles equipped with its technology to create high-definition maps that can be used to support ADAS and autonomous driving systems.
This data is not videos or images, but compressed text that collects around 10 kilobits per kilometer. Mobileye has entered into agreements with six OEMs, including BMW, Nissan and Volkswagen, to collect this data on vehicles equipped with the EyeQ4 chip, which is used to power the advanced driver assistance system. On fleet vehicles, Mobileye collects data from an aftermarket product that it sells to commercial operators.
The strategy, Mobileye president and chief executive officer Amnon Shashua told TechCrunch in the past, will enable the company to effectively launch and operate commercial robotaxi services as well as bring the technology to the vehicles of tourism to the general public by 2025.