According to a report by Reuters on January 13, local time on January 12, the head of Intel’s self-driving car subsidiary Mobileye announced that he hopes to switch to using the company’s self-developed radar technology by 2025, and only configure one for each car. Lidar sensors to reduce the cost of autonomous driving.
Mobileye has chosen a strategy that differs from many of its rivals in the self-driving space, employing a system of camera-based vision technology that helps cars adaptive cruise control and provides lane-change assist. The system is already in use and collects data while driving to help Mobileye map roads in new cities.
According to the report, in order to make the system more advanced, the company plans to equip both radar sensors and lidars. Radar sensors will use radio waves to detect the distance of objects, and lidar is a system based on laser technology that helps autonomous vehicles gain a three-dimensional view of the road. The company is also preparing to launch a fleet of “robo-taxi” vehicles that carry passengers for commercial use and use sensors from self-driving car technology company Luminar Technologies Inc.
At the CES International Consumer Electronics Show on January 12, Mobileye CEO Amon Shashua said that Mobileye’s robo-taxi will use multiple Luminar sensing devices to achieve a 360-degree view of radar, lidar and cameras. The orientation covers the entire body. Shashua said in a subsequent question-and-answer session that starting in 2022, the robotaxis will be rolled out in at least eight cities, each equipped with four Luminar sensors.
Meanwhile, Mobileye is also developing its own lidar sensor, which it plans to use in consumer-facing driverless cars starting in 2025, the report said.
In this 2025 consumer-launched system, only one lidar unit is installed directly in front of the vehicle, while Mobileye is developing a camera-based technology system and an all-new radar system that will cover the entire vehicle.
Shashua said the company is developing new ways to use software to process radar data to make radar more powerful. Radar sensors are cheaper than lidars but provide less detailed images. “In terms of cost, there’s an order of magnitude difference between radar and lidar,” Shashua said. “Whatever people say about lowering the cost of lidar, radar is one-tenth the cost of lidar. We’re developing our own. Lidar, so I am very aware of the cost of Lidar.”
Mobileye said in a statement that it will still use Luminar’s lidar “as much as possible” after launching its own lidar sensor. Mobileye plans to offer its self-driving technology to automakers as a separate component, which means automakers can opt for the Mobileye system alongside Luminar sensors as lidar units.