Article by: Professor Amnon Shashua, Co-founder and CTO of Mobileye
The first phase of the Intel and Mobileye 100-car autonomous vehicle (AV) fleet has begun operating in the challenging and aggressive traffic conditions of Jerusalem. The technology is being driven on the road to demonstrate the power of the Mobileye approach and technology, to prove that the Responsibility-Sensitive Safety (RSS) model increases safety and to integrate key learnings into Mobileye products and customer projects. In the coming months, the fleet will expand to the U.S. and other regions. While the AV fleet is not the first on the road, it represents a novel approach that challenges conventional wisdom in multiple areas. Leveraging over 20 years of experience in computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI), Mobileye vehicles are proving the Mobileye-Intel solution is the most efficient and effective.
The key differentiator of the system is that it’s designed to meet important goals of safety and economic scalability from the beginning. Specifically, Mobileye targets a vehicle that gets from point A to point B faster, smoother and less expensively than a human-driven vehicle; can operate in any geography; and achieves a verifiable, transparent 1,000 times safety improvement over a human-driven vehicle without the need for billions of miles of validation testing on public roads.
The obvious answer is because Mobileye is based in Israel. That makes it convenient, but Mobileye also wanted to demonstrate that the technology can work in any geography and under all driving conditions. Jerusalem is notorious for aggressive driving. There aren’t perfectly marked roads and there are complicated merges. People don’t always use crossings. You can’t have an autonomous car travelling at an overly cautious speed, congesting traffic or potentially causing an accident. You must drive assertively and make quick decisions like a local driver.