Intel’s subsidiary Mobileye and rental car giant Sixt SE plan to launch a robotaxi service in Munich next year, the CEOs of the two companies announced Tuesday during the IAA Mobility show in Germany.
The robotaxi service is leveraging all of Intel’s assets, and more specifically those of Mobileye, that have been under development or purchased in recent years, including the $ 900 million acquisition in 2020 of Moovit, an Israeli startup that analyzes the patterns of urban traffic and provides transportation recommendations with a focus on public transportation.
Through the association, passengers will be able to access the robotaxi service through the Moovit app. The service will also be offered through Sixt’s Mobility ONE app, which gives customers the ability to request a ride, rent, share or subscribe to vehicles.
This will not be a large-scale commercial service at first. Mobileye’s robotaxis are expected to start with an early passenger test program on the streets of Munich in 2022. If that mimics other early passenger programs, the service will likely invite and then approve small groups of passengers and then scale from there. The fleet will then move from trial to commercial operations after regulatory approval, the companies said.
Intel and Mobileye plan to scale the service in Germany and other European countries later this decade. The companies chose Germany, a country where Mobileye is already testing its autonomous vehicle technology, due to a recently enacted law allowing driverless vehicles on public roads.
“Germany has demonstrated its global leadership towards a future of autonomous mobility by accelerating crucial AV legislation,” Intel CEO Gelsinger said at IAA on Tuesday. “Our ability to start robotaxi operations in Munich next year would not be possible without this new law.”
During the IAA’s keynote address, Mobileye also unveiled the MoovitAV and SIXT-branded vehicles. These vehicles, which are equipped with Mobileye’s autonomous driving system, will be produced in volume and used for robotaxi service in Germany, the companies said.
While Mobileye is perhaps best known for supplying automakers with computer vision technology that powers advanced driver assistance systems, a business that generated nearly $ 967 million in sales last year, the company has also been developing technology. of automated vehicles.
The autonomous driving system, now branded as Mobileye Drive, is comprised of a computer-based system-on-chip, redundant detection subsystems based on camera, radar, and lidar technology, its REM mapping system, and a security system. responsive to liability based on rules. (RSS) driving policy. Mobileye’s REM mapping system essentially generates data collectively by leveraging more than 1 million vehicles equipped with its technology to build high-definition maps that can be used to support ADAS and autonomous driving systems.
That data is not videos or images, but compressed text that collects around 10 kilobits per kilometer. Mobileye has agreements with six OEMs, including BMW, Nissan and Volkswagen, to collect that data on vehicles equipped with the EyeQ4 chip, which is used to power the advanced driver assistance system. In fleet vehicles, Mobileye collects data from an aftermarket product that it sells to commercial operators.
The strategy, Mobileye President and CEO Amnon Shashua told TechCrunch in the past, will allow the company to efficiently launch and operate commercial robotaxi services, as well as bring the technology to consumer passenger vehicles by 2025.