Mobileye’s EyeQ Ultra Targets Consumer AVs

Mobileye’s new EyeQ Ultra system-on-chip (SoC) for autonomous driving is optimized for low cost vehicles . The company said that at only 176 TOPS, it can handle all the needs and applications of Level 4 (L4) autonomous driving without the power consumption and costs related to integrating multiple SoCs together. “Consumer AV is the end game for the industry,” said Prof. Amnon Shashua, Mobileye president and CEO. “By developing the entire self-driving solution – from hardware and software to mapping and service models – we can reach the performance-and-cost optimization that will make consumer AVs a reality.”

EyeQ Ultra packs the performance of 10 EyeQ5s in a single package. Leveraging 5 nanometer process technology, EyeQ Ultra can handle all the needs and applications of Level 4 (L4) autonomous driving without the power consumption and costs related to integrating multiple SoCs together. Like its EyeQ predecessors, EyeQ Ultra has been engineered in tandem with Mobileye software, enabling extreme power efficiency with zero performance sacrifices.

First silicon is expected at the end of 2023

EyeQ Ultra (photo above) utilizes an array of four classes of proprietary accelerators, each built for a specific task. They are paired with additional CPU cores, ISPs (Image Signal Processors) and GPUs, and is capable of processing input from two sensing subsystems – one camera-only system and the other radar and lidar combined – as well as the vehicle’s central computing system, the high-definition map and driving policy software.

First silicon for the EyeQ Ultra SoC is expected at the end of 2023, with full automotive-grade production in 2025.  The new AV solution is supported by some 200 petabytes dataset that helps the AV and computer vision system handle edge cases and thereby achieve the very high mean time between failure (MTBF) needed in self-driving vehicles.

The compute engine relies on 500,000 peak CPU cores at the AWS cloud to crunch 50 million datasets monthly – the equivalent to 100 petabytes being processed every month related to 500,000 hours of driving. “The sheer size of Mobileye’s dataset makes the company one of AWS’s largest customers by volume stored globally.”



Udelv Unveils Autonomous Cab-Less Transporter, driven by Mobileye

Udelv, a Silicon Valley venture-backed company, unveiled the Transporter, an autonomous electric delivery vehicle for multi-stop delivery, driven by Mobileye Drive self-driving system. The multi-stop electric delivery vehicle features a self-contained, hot swappable modular cargo pod called the uPod.  It can carry up to 2,000 pounds of goods, make up to 80 stops per cycle at highway speeds, cover ranges between 160 and 300 miles per run and be operated by Udelv’s mobile apps to schedule, deliver, track and retrieve packages.

Founded in California in 2017 by CEO Daniel Laury and CTO Akshat Patel, Udelv successfully accomplished the first-ever autonomous delivery on public roads in 2018. Udelv has since completed over 20,000 deliveries for multiple merchants in CaliforniaArizona and Texas with two prior vehicle generations.

Udelv aims at having 50,000 units of the Transporter, driven by Mobileye, on public roads by 2028, with the first Transporters being commercially deployed in 2023. The company has already garnered more than 1,000 reservations, including from US-based Donlen and Europe-based Planzer and Ziegler Group.  The company was also awarded a prestigious contract from the US Air Force for a pilot program on Edwards Air Force Base in California.

The Transporter is driven by the Mobileye Drive™ self-driving system with a suite of cameras, LiDARs, radars and the fifth generation of EyeQ, Mobileye’s System-on-Chip for automotive applications. To rapidly deploy at scale, the Transporter will integrate Mobileye’s AV maps based on Road Experience Management (REM), a crowdsourced, continuously updated map of the world that digitizes what autonomous vehicles need to navigate.

“Taking Mobileye public is admitting Intel’s failure”

Intel’s intention to take Mobileye public in mid 2022, less than 5 years after its acquisition, continues to resonate and raises questions regarding the direction its current CEO, Pat Gelsinger, is leading the company. In light of the major importance Intel attributed to Mobileye in its future plans, it seems that the expected offering is not a single move; rather it is a sharp u-turn from the strategy led in the past years by the two former CEOs.

In a recent conversation with Techtime, Sergey Vastchenok – Senior Equity Analyst at Oppenheimer Israel explained that the expected offering is the price Intel pays for its mistakes in recent years. “In the recent years, Intel lagged behind its major competitors in the manufacturing world, mainly TSMC and Samsung, with regard to capital expenditures (Capex). This process led Intel to lose its technological advantage”.  

“New CEO, Pat Gelsinger, who grew within Intel and is part of its genetics, came with a vision of reviving its past market dominance, and he did so by massively increasing investments in the company’s organic capabilities”.

Sergey Vastchenok, Oppenheimer Israel

The diminution in Intel’s status is reflected very clearly in its share performance in recent years. In the past 5 years, Intel’s share raised by only 47% whiles the Philadelphia Stock Exchange (PHLX) index, grouping leading chip companies, raised by 354%. Nvidia and AMD, Intel direct competitors, raised by 1300% within the same period.

Vastchenok: “Intel plans to invest 20-25 billion annually in the coming years to restore the lost advantage. Since the company is deficient with cash, the main question is how to finance the planned increase in investments.  Increasing its debt may harm the company’s credit rating, while additional offering in the stock market may weaken its already weak share. The best method of raising funds is to start selling assets”.

Mobileye is a perfect asset to sell

According to Vastchenok, selling Mobileye is a rational step, since its market value is considerably high, and since there was never a real synergy between the two companies’ core activities. Not only there was no real synergy, one may say that it was even a negative one, since Mobileye buy its chips from TSMC and not from Intel. This led to the situation where Intel financed Mobileye’s development strategy, while TSMC benefit the production orders”.   

“Mobileye is a growing business, and is considered a pioneer and a leader in the advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) world. Yet, it is still difficult to forecast its revenues and its market share in the future autonomous vehicle world, since there are many competitors nowadays. Every technology giant is joining the game. At this situation, if the market is willing to pay a good price for your assets – you better sell. If Intel is going to make it public at the mentioned price, it could significantly enlarge its cash reserves. This move will do well for both Intel and Mobileye. Mobileye has better chance to prosper outside Intel’s wings. As we can see, since it was acquired by Intel they have lost plenty of quality human resources, the same way Intel lost human resources for its competitors”.

What is the future of Moovit?

Selling Mobileye raises questions regarding the future of other companies bought by Intel in the recent years. In May 2020 Intel acquired Moovit – the Israeli public transport platform – for $900 million. This surprising acquisition presented as another step in Intel’s vision to provide Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) services in the future, based on Mobileye’s autonomous vehicles and Moovit’s application. In fact, it seems that the real synergy is between Mobileye and Moovit. “Almost all the acquisitions made by Intel at the past years, to include FPGA vendor Altera, were not related to the core activities of Intel. Taking Mobileye public is an admission of the failure of the acquisition strategy of recent years. It looks like the current CEO is being aware of Intel core expertise and what should they focus at”.

Intel Intends to take Mobileye Public

Above: Autonomous Driving car in front of Mobileye’s HQ in Jerusalem

the Intel announced its intention to take Mobileye public in the United States in mid-2022 via an initial public offering (IPO). Intel will remain the majority owner of Mobileye, and the two companies will continue as strategic partners, collaborating on projects in the automotive sector. The Mobileye executive team will remain, with Prof. Amnon Shashua continuing as the company’s CEO. Recently acquired Moovit as well as Intel teams working on LiDAR, radar development and other Mobileye projects will be aligned as part of Mobileye.

Jerusalem-based Mobileye provides computer vision chips, data analysis, localization and mapping solutions for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and autonomous driving. On August 2017 Intel completed the acquisition of Mobileye for $15.3 billion. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said that the acquisition of Mobileye has been a success. “Mobileye has achieved record revenue year-over-year with 2021 gains expected to be more than 40% higher than 2020. An IPO provides the best opportunity to build on Mobileye’s track record for innovation and unlock value for shareholders.”

In 2021, Mobileye shipped its 100 millionth EyeQ system-on-chip (SoC), scaled autonomous vehicle (AV) test programs across multiple cities around the world covering the U.S., Europe and Asia, unveiled its production robotaxi, and secured 41 new ADAS program wins across more than 30 automakers. Moovit is a Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) solutions provider that complements Mobileye’s solutions. The Tel aviv-based company was acquired by Intel on May 2020, for approximately $900 million.

The Mobileye executive team will remain, with Prof. Amnon Shashua continuing as the company’s CEO. Intel currently owns 100% of Mobileye shares and is expected to retain majority ownership following the completion of the IPO. Intel said it has no intention of spinning off or otherwise divesting its majority ownership interest in Mobileye.

Mobileye revenues surged 124% to $ 327 million

Intel’s Mobileye revenue in the second quarter of 2021 totaled $ 327 million, according to the quarterly report released by Intel last week. It represents an increase of 124% year-over-year, but a decrease of 13% compared to the previous quarter. Among all of Intel segments, the Mobileye division posted the highest annual growth in the second quarter .

During the second quarter, Mobileye closed 10 additional design wins in the automotive industry, for over 16 million total lifetime units. The most significant win was with Toyota, in which Mobileye and the german tier-1 supplier ZF  will develop for the Japanese automaker an advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) based on a new automotive radar developed by ZF and Mobileye’s computer-vision chip, EyeQ4. The system is intended to be integrated into several of Toyota’s models in the coming years.

Last week, Mobileye began test drives of AVs in New York, the first to receive a permit from the authorities to conduct such trials in the city. In the conference call following the quarterly report, Intel’s CEO Pat Gelsinger said Mobileye is leading the AV industry. “With vehicles in Israel, Germany, Detroit, Tokyo, Shanghai, and coming soon to Paris, Mobileye has the largest global footprint in the AV industry, enabled by our unique REM distributed mapping technology.”

According to Gelsinger by year end there will be over 1 million vehicles providing telemetry for dynamic crowd-source mapping. “It’s a unique and powerful advantage of Mobileye.”

Intel and Mobileye develop LiDAR in a Chip

Mobileye announced during CES 2021 this week that it has produced the first prototype of an Automotive LiDAR sensor based on Intel’s Silicon Photonics technology. The new sensor is planned to be installed in its Autonomouse Driving systems in 2025, when the market will be ready for a mass deployment of AVs. According to Prof. Amnon Shashua, President and CEO of Mobileye, the new sensor is based on Frequency-Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) technology and Doppler-style algorithms as opposed to the current Time of Flight sensors.

The FMCW sensor provides 4D velocity relative measurements for a distance of up to 300 meters. Its high resolution detection capability reaches 600 points per degree, created by 2 milliom laser pulses per second (2M PPS). The idea is that current approaches and available sensors are too expensive for consumer AVs. Mobileye needs Radars and LiDARs that are both better and cheaper. To reach L5 autonomy it propose three levels of redundancy in the forward-facing field of view (FoV), and for the rest of the FoV, 2 levels of redundancy.

In this scenario, the EV system consists of 360⁰ camera coverage, 360⁰ Radar cocoon and one forward-facing LiDAR sensor. In fact, Intel owns a unique Fab capable of putting active and passive optical elements on a chip together, including lasers and optical amplifiers, loaded onto a photonic integrated circuit, PIC.

The goals for the future radar chip are also very agressive: It will be a software-defined imaging radar eqipped with 2,304 virtual channels based on 48 by 48 transmitters and receivers. This radar will be able to detect motorcycles beyond 200m, old tire on the road, 140 meters away and low and small hazards on the road.

Mobileye Starts Testing Self-Driving Vehicles in Germany

TÜV Süd had awarded Mobileye an automated vehicle testing permit. As a leading expert in the field of safe and secure automated driving, TÜV SÜD enabled Mobileye to obtain approval from German authorities by validating the vehicle and functional safety concepts of Mobileye’s AV test vehicle. This allows Mobileye to perform AV testing in real-world traffic on all German roads at speeds up to 130 kilometers per hour.

Mobileye is starting testing in Munich and also plans additional testing in other parts of Germany. The permit allows Mobileye to demonstrate its self-driving system (SDS) for MaaS and consumer autonomous vehicles. The SDS is comprised of vision sensing, two independent perception sub-systems, crowd-sourced mapping in the form of Road Experience Management (REM) and Responsibility-Sensitive Safety (RSS) driving policy.

Driving with Electronic Map

Owned by Intel, Mobileye has already laid the foundations with REM. In cooperation with various automobile manufacturers, data from 25 million vehicles is expected to be collected by 2025, to create high-definition maps of the worldwide road infrastructure. The company estimates that millions of kilometers of roads across the globe are mapped every day with the REM technology.

Intel, Mobileye and Moovit push the implementation of mobility-as-a-service. All means of transport — from public transport to car and bike sharing services to ride hailing and ride sharing with self-driving vehicles — will be bundled within one service offering of Moovit and Mobileye, smartly managed by Moovit’s mobility intelligence platform.

Last week Mobileye and WILLER, a large transportation operator in Japan, Taiwan and the Southeast Asian region, announced a strategic collaboration to launch an autonomous robotaxi service in Japan and markets across Southeast Asia, including Taiwan. Beginning in Japan, the companies will collaborate on the testing and deployment of autonomous transportation solutions based on Mobileye’s automated vehicle (AV) technology.

WILLER has partnered with Kuo-Kuang Motor Transportation, the largest bus operator in Taiwan, Mai Linh, the largest taxi company in Vietnam, and with 150 local transportation providers in Japan. On top of these partnerships, it will provide self-driving ride-hailing and ride-sharing services in the region, together with Mobileye.

High-Volume Agreement with Ford

This week, Mobileye and Ford Announced High-Volume Agreement for ADAS in Global Vehicles: Mobileye was chosen to be the supplier of vision-sensing technology for Ford’s advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). It will provide its EyeQ sensing technology to support Ford Co-Pilot360 Technology available ADAS features, such as Lane-Keeping System, auto high-beam headlamps, Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane-Centering.