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Mobileye Finds New Partners to Bring MaaS to South Korea, L2+ to China

(Image credit: Intel)

Intel Mobileye announced two new Asian partnerships at CES 2020 yesterday. The first is a partnership with SAIC Motor that will bring L2+ advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to China. The second will bring mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) to South Korea in 2022 via a partnership with Daegu Metropolitan City, and Mobileye said that deal gives it the largest announced robotaxi fleet footprint of all providers when combined with previous announcements regarding Israel, France, China and the U.S.

L2+ to China via SAIC

(Image credit: Intel)

L2+ is a level of autonomous driving capability that was devised by Mobileye to complement the five levels established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2013. It features multiple cameras and uses Mobileye's Road Experience Management (REM) RoadBook, which is a crowdsourced mapping technology with 10cm accuracy and a 10kB/km footprint, according to the company. Mobileye said it expects to have completely mapped Europe and the U.S. by the end of 2020, largely due to the fleet of more than 1 million vehicles it has collecting data.

The partnership with SAIC Motor will bring REM capabilities to the automaker's vehicles. It's a win-win for the companies: SAIC Motor gets to take advantage of Mobileye's L2+ ADAS, and Mobileye gets to start gathering information about China's roadways. SAIC Motor is the first company to use REM in China, and provided the partnership goes well, it could open the door for other companies to follow suit.

The L2+ systems will run on two EyeQ5H, and the full system is capable of 46 TOPS at 54W, according to Mobileye. The company said that China is now the first country involved in all four of its advanced product categories: L2+ ADAS, REM mapping technology, MaaS and consumer autonomous vehicles (AVs). 

MaaS in South Korea

Meanwhile, the agreement with Daegu Metropolitan City will bring mobility-as-a-service to market in South Korea by 2022.

Robotaxis are expected to be the first mass deployment of AVs, and Mobileye and Daegu City have announced that they will collaborate to test and deploy the technology. The vehicles will be powered by Mobileye’s AV Kit to enable a driverless AV solution. Daegu Metropolitan City, meanwhile, will ensure the regulatory framework supports the establishment of a robotaxi fleet.

This deal shows that Mobileye is quickly scaling its global MaaS ambitions. The agreement follows earlier announcements to bring MaaS to Israel (via a joint venture with Volkswagen and Champion Motors), China (via NIO) and France (via RATP) by 2022. Mobileye also plans to introduce a robotaxi fleet in the U.S. in 2023. To that end, the company claims that it has the largest MaaS footprint of all providers, and expects that robotaxis will become a $160 billion market by 2030.

Mobileye expects its AV Kit for consumer AVs to launch in 2025. It will include a robotaxi Chauffeur Mode.

(Image credit: Intel)

Hardware Update

(Image credit: Intel)

Mobileye also gave an update on its hardware platforms. The EPM59 with six EyeQ5 chips (each 24 TOPS at 10W) and three additional EyeQ5s for redundancy (216TOPS total) will be deployed in the second quarter 2020 and will be used in the company's initial robotaxis. 

Mobileye also said it has already secured four design wins based on EyeQ5 with over 8 million lifetime units, with series production slated for March 2021. EyeQ5 will also feature open programmability for third parties via APIs and libraries provided by Intel.

The EPM6 with one EyeQ6 (and another one for redundancy) will hit the road in 2023, the same year as Qualcomm's 700 TOPS Snapdragon Ride. EyeQ6 is rated at 128 TOPS at 40W.

Earlier this month, Mobileye announced that IEEE would work on a standard based on its RSS driving policy. Last year, the company also started building a new development center in Israel with more capacity than its entire current workforce.

The company also revealed it shipped 17.4 million EyeQ chips in 2019 and discussed the camera-based VIDAR. The full keynote by Mobileye CEO Amnon Shashua can be viewed below: