Creating and delivering self-driving cars to the public is turning out to be tougher than it looked.
Now Intel and Mobileye, the automated driving company Intel acquired for some $15 billon a while back, are setting their eyes on robotaxi ride hailing rather than passenger car autonomy.
Intel’s strategy was laid out in a blog post by Amnon Shashua, senior vice president at Intel and president and CEO of Mobileye.
“At Intel and Mobileye, we are all-in on the global robotaxi opportunity,” states Shashua. “We are developing technology for the entire robotaxi experience – from hailing the ride on your phone, through powering the vehicle and monitoring the fleet.”
Intel defines three aspects of autonomy that are unfolding: advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), robotaxi ride hailing as the future of mobility as a service (MaaS) and series-production passenger car autonomy.
With ADAS systems, such as lane-change technology and cruise control, the driver is in charge of the vehicle at all times.
Intel and Mobileye have come to the realization that individually-owned, self-driving cars are sometime in the future while robotaxis are more practical to pursue in the near term.
“What has changed in the mindset of many companies, including much of the auto industry, is the realization that those two phases cannot proceed in parallel,” states Shashua.
“Series-production passenger car autonomy must wait until the robotaxi industry deploys and matures,” he says. “This is due to three factors: cost, regulation and geographic scale. Getting all factors optimized simultaneously has proven too difficult to achieve in a single leap, and it is why many in the industry are contemplating the best path to achieve volume production.”
Meanwhile, consumers can plan on continuing to drive their own cars.