Al CES 2022 the car is having a very important prominence, and to demonstrate it there are all the innovations that we have seen, live or during the telematic conferences, here in Las Vegas. To focus even more on the automotive world and on the technology of the near future was Intel. Its Israeli subsidiary Mobileye at CES 2022 presented several projects, including the announcement of the collaboration with seakr for the production in 2024 of the first production car equipped with Level 4 autonomous driving, of new ones collaborations with Volkswagen and Ford and the birth of a new one “all-in-one” processor to facilitate the spread of autonomous driving. In short, Mobileye at CES 2022 presented so many things: let’s discover them all together.
Who is Mobileye, one of the biggest names in the world of autonomous driving
The main novelty was, as it is easy to guess, the announcement of the ccollaboration between Mobileye and Zeekr for the production of the first level 4 self-driving car. But let’s take a step back, and understand both who they are and what they do Mobileye e Zeekr. Let’s start from protagonist of today at CES 2022, Mobileye. It’s about a Israeli company, which from 1999 deals with developing technologies for automotive safety systems. In just a few years, Mobileye has become one of the major players on the world scene with regard to active security systems using cameras and sensors. Mobileye was responsible for the first warning systems for involuntary lane crossing at the end of the ’00s, automatic emergency braking, traffic sign recognition and many other innovations that we have come to know about manufacturers like Volvo, BMW and GM.
Few know that It was Mobileye that introduced the famous Autopilot on Tesla Model S in 2015, using its chip developed specifically for EyeQ autonomous driving. The collaboration with Tesla closed in 2016, the following year, in 2017, Mobileye was acquired by Intel for a record $ 15.8 billion. This is still today the acquisition of the most expensive Israeli company in history. Today, Mobileye collaborates with Volkswagen, Ford and other manufacturers to develop ADAS and systems that allow autonomous driving, currently Level 2+. As we have often told you, however, the problems concerning autonomous driving of higher levels is mainly bureaucratic. The houses and specialized companies already have the technology to implement them in today’s cars. Only the ad hoc laws are missing, and a house that is ready to launch.
Mobileye and Zeekr together with CES 2022 for the first production car equipped with Level 4 autonomous driving
And in fact, Mobileye at CES 2022 announced a partnership with the Chinese manufacturer Zeekr for the launch, in 2024, of the first production car equipped with Level 4 autonomous driving. To be clear, today we are at Level 2+, so the car accelerates, brakes, steers and more even changes lanes autonomously, but always with the driver at the wheel focused on the road. Level 4 is the completely autonomous one, for which the car does everything, absolutely everything by itself. A Level 4 car doesn’t even need a driver or a steering wheel – it does everything autonomously. This is why this news is really important for the automotive world, as the first truly autonomous car is only 2 years away.
The production of this very important model is entrusted to the collaboration with seakr, a house that is almost unknown in Europe. In reality, however, Zeekr is not the latest arrival, quite the contrary. It is in fact the premium all-electric brand of the Geely Group, the one which includes Volvo, Lotus and Lynk & Co. And precisely of the latter brand, Zeekr is the “premium cousin”. Its first model, the 001, is in fact inspired in the lines by Lynk & Co products, and rests on the Geely’s new SEA platform. On it, many models of Volvo, Lotus (the expected Lotus SUV will be born on this platform), Lynk & Co and Zeekr and the next smart compact SUV will be born. Zeekr therefore has a lot of experience and knowledge behind it, and this is also why it was chosen for this epochal debut. This very important car will obviously be full electric, e it will exploit all the Mobileye technology, including the very interesting “True Redundancy”.
We told you about it some time ago, but in a nutshell it is a system that does not rely on just one type of sensors or cameras, but supports various camera, radar and Lidar systems, all capable of operating autonomously. In this way, in the event of technical problems, the car will always be able to move independently and safely. At the base of the whole car there will be a processor Open EyeQ of the latest generation. Probably, the new processor will push it Ultra, an all-in-one SoC capable of processing all data with exceptional speed but with a very limited use of energy and space, which we will talk about shortly.
Unless surprises from direct rivals, this Zeekr supported by Mobileye technology will be the first production car to be purchased by the public equipped with Level 4 autonomous driving. Its official debut is expected in 2024 in his native China. Subsequently, the model will land on lists all over the world.
At CES 2022, Mobileye announced the continuation of partnerships with Volkswagen and Ford
But the news of Mobileye at CES 2022 did not end there. In fact, the Israeli company has been collaborating with giants in the automotive world such as Volkswagen and Ford for several years to create driver assistance systems. And, in Las Vegas, Intel and Mobileye have announced the continuation of their collaboration also for the next few years with Ford and Volkswagen, but with different projects. Volkswagen will in fact be the first manufacturer to use the incredible amount of data collected by Mobileye systems for its autonomous driving systems. A bit like smartphones, PCs and all IT systems, in fact, the best way to improve and grow is to take a cue from the situations that happen to systems already on the market.
Mobileye has indeed said several times that the real treasure it has is the amount of data collected by cars equipped with its own systems. In fact, already in 2018, Mobileye had entered into an agreement with manufacturers such as BMW, Volkswagen and Nissan that allows it to receive, anonymously and without violating the privacy of the owners, the data recorded by vehicles equipped with Mobileye technology. How much data? Mobileye believes that its greatest wealth is the data it collects, which it estimates at 20 PB, petabytes, or 20,000 TB. An impressive amount of data, which from today will also be accessible to Volkswagen as regards the maps. In fact, at CES 2022 Mobileye and the Wolfsburg manufacturer announced that the German manufacturer will be part of the Mobileye Roadbook project.
It is a database of maps provided by users of Mobileye vehicles, in high definition and incredibly precise. This data is obtained from cars equipped with Mobileye technology worldwide, and VW will use the Roadbook to improve its Travel Assist. In a nutshell, in fact, Volkswagen aims to equip its cars with a new version of its travel assistance system, the Travel Assist (which includes Adaptive Cruise Control, active lane maintainer and so on), capable of keeping the vehicle on track. even without visible road markings. This because it will not only use the cameras and the GPS connection, but a cloud of information about that same road collected by hundreds of cars every day. We won’t have to wait long to see this system on the road. Mobileye Roadbook will be available soon on Volkswagen, Skoda, Audi and SEAT models based on the MEB platform.
Ford joins Mobileye for its new BlueCruise
Even the American Ford announced the continuation of the collaboration with Mobileye at CES 2022, but for a different mission. Indeed, the Dearborn House will rely on Mobileye’s expertise to improve its neighbors BlueCruise. Ford will in fact use the tecnologia REM di Mobileye (Road Experience Management), which will allow it to equip its next cars with an innovative technology that will allow the customers to let the car drive independently with their hands free. Come? By monitoring the driver’s gaze via a camera aimed at the driver’s face. This way, the system will make sure that the driver always has his eyes on the road. This system also includes a software that improves lane centering, and allows you to drive even on motorways and where horizontal markings are not perfectly visible.
Celebrating this collaboration was the Ford CEO Jim Farley, who said he was extremely satisfied with the collaboration with Mobileye. “Ford has been committed to producing innovative technologies to make driving easier and safer for over a century,” said Farley. “We are very excited to be working with Mobileye to a platform that supports the development of next generation autonomous driving technologies. Our investment in these skills will allow us to transform the mobility experiences of our customers. “
Mobileye’s new all-in-one processor debuts at CES 2022: promises to bring autonomous driving “to the masses”
Finally, Mobileye also spoke about itself at CES 2022, presenting a new processor for autonomous driving systems that promises to be revolutionary. During the Las Vegas kermesse, the Israeli company presented the new EyeQ Ultra processor. It is the most powerful and advanced SoC ever designed by Mobileye, but this is not its fundamental peculiarity. The new processor has indeed been developed specifically for self-driving vehicles, and it is a all-in-one. In fact, within a single chip, there are all the processors necessary for the entire autonomous driving system of a car. Thanks to EyeQ Ultra, it is possible to equip a car equipped with this Level 4 autonomous driving processor.
What does this mean? Which, trivially, by purchasing a single processor it will be possible to access all the most advanced autonomous driving systems. An epochal leap forward compared to today, where different processors with different peculiarities are needed to put together a good autonomous driving system. The new Mobileye EyeQ Ultra has a value for money…