Mobileye recently announced that it is partnering with Intel and BMW on an autonomous driving system for the latter’s luxury vehicles. While some have named Intel as the biggest winner in the deal, there’s no denying that it’s a big deal for Mobileye as well.
How Mobileye will work with Intel and BMW
Evercore ISI analyst Chris McNally and team visited Mobileye’s headquarters in Jerusalem and published a note outlining their in-depth discoveries regarding that partnership. They learned that in terms of the labor, Mobileye will take care of all the autonomous algorithms for sensing, validation, fusing, path planning, behavioral artificial intelligence for driving, etc. The company will work closely with BMW for higher level fusion and “policy,” or AI.
Meanwhile Intel will provide a CPU that can process the huge “autonomous computational workload,” plus 5G and built-in hardware security, infotainment support, and back-end crunching of big data. The chip maker will also provide middle-ware, which the Evercore ISI team describes as a “‘visualization later’ that enables various applications to run with a standard interface on processors.”
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Mobileye’s EyeQ5 will run vision and lower level fusion, while higher level fusion and “policy,” will run both on the EyeQ5 and on Intel’s chip at the same time.
The ultimate goal of the partnership
The analysts explained that Mobileye, Intel and BMW aim to develop an industry standard and speed p adoption of autonomous driving technology. They said the trio wants to make it easier for regulators to supervise the tech while also making it possible to share validation work to cut down on development costs and the amount of time needed to develop such technologies.
Mobileye in particular aims to set a standard sensor suite “so that nobody can be accused of under-provisioning from a liability perspective.” Indeed, this is an important point in light of the intense scrutiny Tesla is under right now as regulators try to figure out whether its Autopilot semi-autonomous driving technology played any role in a fatal crash in May.
“Taken together, it is our opinion that this is the foundation of an industry-wide initiative to pro-actively defend against new entrants and build a significant moat that makes it difficult for them to compete with the industry’s single largest advantage – SCALE,” the Evercore team wrote.
Mobileye and Nissan
Mobileye is considered by many to be the gold standard in sensors for autonomous vehicles, and its technology is also in Nissan’s ProPILOT semi-autonomous driving feature for the Serena minivan. The ProPILOT system is the first full-speed camera-only configuration which also offers automated steering, and Citi analyst Itay Michaeli believes this means that camera-only systems will become increasingly importance and possibly even move into level 2 semi-autonomous driving tech.
Shares of Mobileye closed up 1.28% at $47.58 on Thursday.