Volkswagen Teams With Mobileye

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【Summary】Mobileye brings its tech to OEM vehicles.

Original Timothy Healey    Feb 19, 2017 3:20 PM PT
Volkswagen Teams With Mobileye

Volkswagen Auto Group is teaming up with tech company Mobileye.

The partnership is set to focus on developing satellite navigation systems for autonomous self-driving cars.

Volkswagen will use Mobileye's camera sensors and its localization technologies on some of its upcoming cars and SUVs. This will give both companies the chance to use the technologies to collect data, such as the location of road signs and lane markings. This data will be used to form cloud-based real-time maps. These real-time maps will update constantly, which will help spur the development of driver-assist systems and self-driving cars.

"The future of autonomous driving depends on the ability to create and maintain precise high-definition maps and scale them at minimal cost," Amnon Shashua, chief technology officer at Mobileye, said to Automotive News.

This marks Mobileye's first collaboration with an automaker. Its mapping technology is called Road Experience Management. Mobileye has said it hopes to sign on with other major automakers. Doing so would allow it to collect more data – and therefore make more accurate maps.

Mobileye said in December that it would be working with Here, an intelligent mapping company, to share data relating to road navigation.

The company's deal with Volkswagen was announced on February 10 and goes into effect in 2018.

Having this kind of data is necessary to get self-driving cars to a point of wider acceptance – autonomous vehicles will need to know where the traffic signs, lane markers and other road-side accoutrement are located in order to navigate safely. Since road signs can be changed or replaced quickly and with little notice, self-driving cars could get lost – or worse, get into accidents.

So it makes sense that mapping companies will need to help out with the development of self-driving cars in the long term and driver-assist systems in the near term. Driver-assist systems and navigation systems that are available on the market now offer speed-limit and traffic-sign recognition technology, and more of that will be needed going forward.

The road to self-driving cars will be long and filled with small, almost unnoticeable technology advancements that build a bridge from today's current vehicles to tomorrow's self-driving cars. This may mark one of those moments – and if Mobileye is able to partner with more automakers it will speed the data collection process up. That, in turn, will make the maps more and more accurate, which is just what the industry will need.

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