Mobileye and Delphi Automotive are working together to launch a more-affordable technology for self-driving cars that the two companies say will be available by the end of the decade.
Their technology will rely less on costly Lidar sensors, which are being used in most of the autonomous vehicle test projects, according to a Bloomberg report. Finding an alternative, cost-effective technology will make available self-driving car systems to carmakers that might lack funding for autonomous systems, said Amnon Shashua, chairman and chief technology officer of Israel-based Mobileye.
The companies are spending “hundreds of millions of dollars” to develop the system, said Kevin Clark, chief executive officer of U.K.-based Delphi. It will be ready to sell by 2016, he said.
“Together, we’re planning to build a new class of machine intelligence capable of mimicking true human driving capabilities,” Amnon Shashua, chairman and chief technology officer of Mobileye, said in a conference call on Tuesday. “Our alliance provides a solution with a much smaller investment to our customers” to deploy fully autonomous cars.
Mobileye, a collision software detection maker, joined up with BMW and Intel in June for a development partnership to produce autonomous vehicle technology. The team has committed to rolling out a self-driving car by 2021.
Delphi Automotive has become known in recent years in the auto industry for testing out its own self-driving systems, through the Delphi Drive project.
Several other strategic alliances have been announced in recent months, which signifies the advancement of the technology and pressure to be competitive in the new field. Uber Technologies Inc. last week announced a $300 million development deal with Volvo AB. During that time, Ford made a pledge to launch a self-driving car for ride-hailing by 2021. The automaker has jointly invested in tech supplier Velodyne Lidar Inc. with China’s Baidu Inc. Google, which has played a leading role in testing the technology, announced a partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in May to test out 100 self-driving Chryler Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivans.
Clark said Delphi and Mobileye will demonstrate their new system early next year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Road testing will begin in Singapore soon after the first of the year, he said.
The system will draw on the two companies’ existing technology, which is “camera and radar-centric,” Shashua said. Using their new system eliminates the need for the “redundant sensor,” he said, referring to Lidar.