Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Teams With Israeli Firm For ‘Driverless’ Cars


Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is taking giant steps towards having a mostly-automatic car by 2016. Israeli news source Haaretz mentioned that Jerusalem-based vehicle safety systems manufacturer Mobileye has inked a deal with Tesla to develop a driverless car.

Tesla targeting 95% automation

In order to make a driver-less car, Mobileye’s system uses five cameras. These cameras will coordinate with the vehicle’s navigation system. Settings in the car will help the vehicle to change lanes in urban environments, maintain itself in the center of a lane and keep a safe distance from other drivers apart from other features.

Previously, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’S CEO Elon Musk said that the company would achieve the goal of making a 95% driver-less car by 2016, but that 100% automation is not practical to achieve.

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Prof. Amnon Shashua, founder of Mobileye, made similar comments in the past, saying in an interview with TheMarker, “This is not automatic driving in which the driver types an address and goes to sleep.” He added that the system will help the driver in controlling for a limited time period.

Amnon Shashua believes that it is not possible to fully automate the system, but the technology will enable the driver to check a text message, change the radio, and perform other tasks, which normally diverts the attention of a driver from the road for a short time.

Other automakers in the queue

Other big names apart from Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), who are striving to launch an automatic automobile are General Motors, Daimler’s Mercedes Benz, Elbit and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG).

In the United States, there are three states which have allowed and modified laws to test-drive automatic cars with the driver at the wheel. Google has already posted a video on YouTube showing Californian Steve Mahan, who lost 95% of his vision, traveling in an automatic car from his home to a fast-food restaurant, and back home.

Mobileye was found in 1999, and basically deals with analyzing and processing pictures from video cameras. The devices manufactured by the company identify the proximity of the vehicles, pedestrians and objects to warn of an impending collision and unplanned passing from lane to lane.