Intel starts testing self-driving cars in Jerusalem

Intel and its subsidiary Mobileye have started testing 100 self-driving cars in Jerusalem. In the “coming months,” the plan is to deploy the fleet in the U.S. and other regions, Mobileye CEO Amnon Shashua wrote in a blog post.

Through this test, Intel/Mobileye hope to demonstrate that its cars are 1,000 times safer than human drivers “without the need for billions of miles of validation testing on public roads.”

These cars are equipped with 12 cameras to create a 360 view of its surroundings. Eight of those cameras are for long-range viewing purposes while the other four are for parking. In phase two of development, which will happen in the next few weeks, Intel/Mobileye will add a layer of radar and LIDAR.

“The camera-only phase is our strategy for achieving what we refer to as ‘true redundancy’ of sensing,” Shashua wrote. “True redundancy refers to a sensing system consisting of multiple independently engineered sensing systems, each of which can support fully autonomous driving on its own.”

Intel and Mobileye landed on Jerusalem as its test city to prove its tech can work “in any geography and under all conditions.” Shashua also noted Jerusalem is “notorious for aggressive driving” and doesn’t always have clearly marked roads. Jerusalem, he said, also has complicated merging situations and people walking outside of crosswalks.

“You can’t have an autonomous car traveling at an overly cautious speed, congesting traffic or potentially causing an accident,” he wrote. “You must drive assertively and make quick decisions like a local driver.”

Intel/Mobileye’s goal is to deploy Level 4 and Level 5 autonomous vehicles on the roads by 2021 in partnership with its vehicle manufacturers. Earlier today, Reuters reported Mobileye signed a contract with an automaker based in Europe to supply eight million of its cars with Mobileye technology. The company’s known vehicle partners include General Motors, Nissan, Audi, BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Honda and China’s Nio.

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