Archive for the ‘Mobileye’ Category

Report: Tesla is bleeding talent from its Autopilot division

August 25th, 2017

Enlarge / Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (credit: Yuriko Nakao/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Self-driving cars are coming, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been pushing his engineers hard to make sure that Tesla stays on the cutting edge. Indeed, in October 2016 he promised that the latest version of the Model S and Model X—cars with Tesla’s new “Hardware 2” suite of cameras and radar—would become capable of full self-driving in the future, with just a software update.

But according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, some Tesla engineers are skeptical that Tesla can keep this promise any time soon. Disagreement about deadlines—as well as “design and marketing decisions”—is causing turmoil inside the company.

“In recent months,” the Journal reports, the Autopilot team “has lost at least 10 engineers and four top managers.” That included the director of the Autopilot team, “who lasted less than six months before leaving in June.”

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Fiat Chrysler, BMW, and Intel announce plans to build self-driving tech

August 16th, 2017

Enlarge / Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne speaks at an event in Michigan on August 26, 2016. (credit: Bill Pugliano / Getty Images)

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is joining forces with BMW and Intel to develop self-driving car technology, the company announced on Wednesday. FCA is joining an existing alliance between BMW and Intel that also included Mobileye, the self-driving technology company Intel announced it was acquiring in March.

FCA is the smallest of Detroit’s Big Three automakers, and its approach to the self-driving car revolution has been less ambitious than rivals GM and Ford. GM paid $1 billion for self-driving car startup Cruise last year and is hoping to develop its own self-driving car technology. Ford invested $1 billion in the self-driving car startup Argo AI earlier this year and has also opened a technology subsidiary in Silicon Valley.

By contrast, FCA seems content to rely more on partners to supply the self-driving technology it will need to make its vehicles competitive in the coming decade.

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Mobileye spills the beans: Tesla was dropped because of safety concerns

September 15th, 2016

Enlarge / A hirsute Sebastian using autopilot in a Tesla Model S. (credit: Sebastian Anthony)

On Wednesday, Mobileye revealed that it ended its relationship with Tesla because “it was pushing the envelope in terms of safety.” Mobileye’s CTO and co-founder Amnon Shashua told Reuters that the electric vehicle maker was using his company’s machine vision sensor system in applications for which it had not been designed.

“No matter how you spin it, (Autopilot) is not designed for that. It is a driver assistance system and not a driverless system,” Shashua said.

In a statement to Reuters, Tesla said that it has “continuously educated customers on the use of the features, reminding them that they’re responsible to keep their hands on the wheel and remain alert and present when using Autopilot” and that the system has never been described as autonomous or self-driving. (This statement appears to be at odds with statements made by Musk at shareholder meetings.)

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Posted in Cars Technica, Mobileye, Tesla | Comments (0)

Tesla and Mobileye call it quits; will the car company build its own sensors?

July 27th, 2016

Mobileye Co-founder, CTO and Chairman Amnon Shashua speaks at a Volkswagen press event at CES 2016. (credit: Getty Images | David Becker)

If you’re a carmaker looking to give your vehicles some computer vision, your first port of call is probably the Israeli company Mobileye. As we detailed recently, Mobileye’s EyeQ system-on-a-chip can be found inside most semi-autonomous cars on our roads, Tesla included. In fact, Mobileye CTO Amnon Shashua gave a lengthy technical presentation at CES in January on how Mobileye’s use of deep neural networks enable Tesla’s Autopilot functions. (Here’s a deep dive into the tech over at WCCFTech.) But on Tuesday, Shashua announced during a Q2 financial results conference call that the relationship between the two companies will end.

In a statement to Ars, Mobileye said that its work with Tesla will not extend past the EyeQ3, the current system-on-a-chip found in Autopilot-capable Model S and Model X electric vehicles. Mobileye will continue to support current vehicles, including software fixes for crash avoidance and auto-steering.

“Nevertheless, in our view, moving toward more advanced autonomy is a paradigm shift both in terms of function complexity and the need to ensure an extremely high level of safety,” the company wrote. “There is much at stake here, to Mobileye’s reputation and to the industry at large.  Mobileye believes that achieving this objective requires partnerships that go beyond the typical OEM / supplier relationship, such as our recently announced collaboration with BMW and Intel.  Mobileye will continue to pursue similar such relationships.”

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From Audi to Volvo, most ‘self-driving’ cars use the same hardware

May 26th, 2016

My actual drive from Washington, DC, to Columbus, Ohio, and back took about 12 hours in total, but thanks to the magic that is time-lapse, you can come with me in a mere 90 seconds. Video edited by Jennifer Hahn. (video link)

On Sunday, my colleague Lee Hutchinson regaled you all with a tale of his semi-autonomous driving adventure in one of Tesla’s high-speed electric chariots. But that’s not the only semi-autonomous (Level 2 self-driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) road trip we’ve conducted here at Ars. You can read all about how we got on with Volvo’s latest and greatest XC90 SUVs in a week or so. Plus, there’s the new Audi A4, which in Dynamic mode really puts the mantra of “trust the machine” to the test as it late-brakes for exits at up to 0.5G. And finally, I was also fortunate enough to have put many miles on an Audi A7 TDI, driving from DC to Columbus, Ohio, and back when I went to visit the Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3.

Much of the technology that underpins these systems is shared among the industry. A handful of companies like Bosch, Delphi, and Mobileye provide sensors, control units, and even algorithms to car makers, who then integrate and refine those systems.

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