These Companies Are Building an Autonomous Car Platform
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Mobileye and Delphi Automotive are teaming up to build an autonomous driving system that carmakers can add to their vehicles as early as 2019.
The companies' so-called Central Sensing Localization and Planning (CSLP) platform is geared towards car makers that might not want to spend millions on self-driving technology R&D. With CSLP, Delphi and Mobileye will offer Level 4 or 5 autonomous driving capability, in which Level 0 is where a driver controls all aspects of the car and Level 5 is a fully self-driving car that doesn't even have a steering wheel or pedals.
Delphi and Mobileye will demo their solution at CES 2017 and start fleeting testing shortly thereafter in order to start production by 2019.
The companies declined to provide exact details on the deal, though Delphi CEOKevin Clark said during a conference call that it's worth "hundreds of millions of dollars." Delphi and Mobileye have actually worked together on various projects for 15 years, but this effort will "build a new class of machine intelligence capable of mimicking human driving capabilities," said Mobileye's Chairman and CTO, Amnon Shashua.
In June Mobileye announced a deal with Intel and BMW to produce self-driving cars by 2021. When asked about that today, Shashua waved off concerns that BMW might be irked to hear that other car makers will get a self-driving solution before it does. The Delphi deal is "complementary," he said.
"The goal here is to build a solution for customers and BMW is a customer," he responded. Whatever Mobileye does with Delphi will help BMW in the long run. And while Delphi and Mobileye want a production-ready solution by 2019, it might not get into cars until 2021, depending on when car makers buy in, the same time the BMW solution would arrive.
Delphi, meanwhile, was selected earlier this month to provide vehicles and compatible software for a fleet of autonomous taxis in Singapore. Trials of six Audi SQ5s will continue for three years, before the commuter program goes live in 2022.
Delphi already operates a self-driving fleet in Silicon Valley, and completed a coast-to-coast autonomous trip across the U.S. last year. The company is also eyeing pilot programs in North America and Europe.