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We are the leader in the self driving car technology

"By 2021, Mobileye and BMW will have self driving car in mass production," said David Oberman in an exclusive interview with Albalad.co.

26 Maret 2017 18:11

On Monday two weeks ago, Israel was stormed by the Intel's announcement. The US giant computer chipmaker said they agree to buy Mobileye for US$ 15.3 billion, the biggest purchase of any Israeli technology company in history.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called Mobileye CEO Ziv Aviram to congratulate.

Mobileye, founded in 1999, is a company that focus on developing the self driving car technology. They have already worked together with 13 car makers for the self driving car.

And Intel, according to David Oberman, Mobileye Sales Director for Asia, North America, Australia, and Africa, is the last part of the total solution before entering the mass production in 2021. "By 2021, Mobileye and BMW will have self driving car in mass production," he said two weeks ago in an exclusive interview by phone with Faisal Assegaf from Albalad.co.

Excerpts:   

Intel has agreed to buy Mobileye for US$ 15.3 billion as announced earlier this week. What is the meaning of that big deal for Mobileye and the human kind in the future?

For Mobileye, we are expert in developing the cameras for ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) and autonomous car. We have become the leader in this market over many years. We have a very big percentage in this market. Some people say 80 percents, some people say 90 percents. Anyway, we are the leader in this market.

We do a very important part of the technology for the self driving car. There are other parts, we do the sensing and we also do a special mapping. The mapping is a need for the self driving car.

But we also need some other partners. We need the partner who would provide the GPS (Global Positioning System) map. So, we have signed some cooperartion agreements with HERE from Germany and also with Zenrin from Japan who add GPS mapping function and we cooperate with them, especially with Volkswagen, BMW, Audi, and also others. We are already the leader for the technology but there are other parts which are needed.

Todays car must be connected, intelligent car and the future car must be more intelligent, more connected. We need technology so car can talk each other. We call it B to B, beko to beko communication, and B to I, beko to the infrastructure, and we do need some qualities for the self sustaining car. How can we ensure BMW cars, Audi cars use the same message, the same process, the same policy. The driving policy is very important.   

Intel is the huge corporation. They have their own technology for many fields which can be combined with Mobileye specializes for sensing, mapping, and will complement our technology. Actually, Mobileye will be leading this merger, Intel and Mobileye.

But Mobileye will actually manage the new automotive development center. Intel engineers will come to Jerusalem, work in Jerusalem under the management of Mobileye and Mobileye's leader, Professor Amnon Shahua. So, the meaning is that Mobileye can really becomes one of the huge players for the autonomous car development.

So, can we conclude that car makers are waiting for the result of the partnership between Mobileye and Intel to produce the self driving car?

I don't think it is so clear, but for sure the partnership between Intel and Mobileye will make a very very strong force for the autonomous car. Of course, there will be a competition, but I believe that to bring together their ability and their science, especially the chip making competent of Intel, and put it together with the specialized knowledges of Mobileye will enable the technology to go much further, to reach many new markets and to be able to do things that like Mobileye and small companies which are not capable of doing by themselves.

Because Mobile only has about 700 workers. They knew it that what we can do, we can develop centre but we will need to now have a very big data. This big data must come from manufacturer, the driver or the car manufacture and we need to share this data for many purposes and to share information about changing road infrastructure, and together to share like a crowd share information about each car.

Is it confirmed that Mobileye, Intel, and BMW cooperation has a target to have mass production of the autonomous car by 2021?

Already in this year Mobileye and BMW will release the first 400 hundred cars and these cars will be test car, but Mobileye already reached a very high level of development with BMW  but also with Volskwagen, Audi, and other car makers. Altogether 13 car makers are working with Mobileye for those self driving cars. But also Mobileye has another partnership with Delphi from England.

By 2021, Mobileye and BMW will have self driving car in mass production.

Mobileye, even Mobileye and Intel do not control the government of any country. But many many governments are very interested in this new future technology and they will help to create the circumstances for autonomous car.

I believe that certain countries, like Israel, Singapore, and some states in United States, like California, Texas, etc, England, Poland, Germany which are very interest once we had the technology.

For sure, we need the help of the government and at the first stage we will have old car and new car. The old car will be driven by the driver and the new car will drive itself. We need to undertand how the old car will work together with the new car.

Maybe, they need to separate where they will operate. For instance in some parts of Jakarta, we will have the self driving cars and in the other parts, we will have the old cars.

I don't believe anybody will throw old car away. We need to design how the cars today will interact with the self driving cars.

There is one big question. How can we give the car the ability to decide if somebody will die? For instance, somebody run on the road and you have a choice, you hit the person or you have to crash your car and kill people inside your car?

This new technology will be very very good and people will trust this technology. Much more than human driver.

They will understand this is a better choice. It's better because every year we will save the life of one million people in the world and we will save tens of millions from being injured.

Yes, at the beginning some people will be killed by this technology but it will be in a very small number. This will sto the crashing and make road safer. We need this new technology because it will save life.     

How the car drives itself?

The car will have eight intelligent cameras which are made by Mobileye and use Mobileye's chip which is made by 80 micro companies. There will also have some other technologies from some other companies. We will use radar, lidar. These will work together and Intel chip will be part of total solution to combine these censors together, camera censor, radar censor, and lidar censor.

We already had a car like this. We already took prime minister (Benjamin Netanyahu) and presiden (Reuven Rivlin) to ride from our company to the prime minister office in Jerusalem. They are very happy because the car  it is really driving itself.

We do not say it is perfect yet but we can see alreay the car has main function and by using the chip, it's very powerful, it's like 500 computers, we can use the car from A to Z without the driver. This will get better and better.       

We already has the signs. We know it works a hundred percents. There are some basic developments. We need to keep the car distance from the in front, we need to be able to do emergency braking if somebody run on the road. We have already known these perfectly.

When the self driving car need human help?

Today, we are using fuel but the self driving car most of them will use electricity. The self driving car will be able to take itself to the charging station and charge by itself with no human help, or may be a little human help in the beginning.

We believe that many cars will be shared, like a kind of taxi service. May be the first really autonomous car will be truck or even bus.

Can the self driving car talk?

Mobileye do not have the technology of voice recognition. But it can say some simple thing. For example, the computer will say, "The computer can not drice the car, please take over."

But can really tlak like a human being, Mobileye are not developing but other companies are developing such functions.

This is not a difficult part.

When the self driving car can be used by all human beings around the world?

We do not know exactly. Some people say within ten years. Within ten years, every car on the road will be self driving but  we really do not know.

But one thing is sure, it will happen. One more thing is sure is will change the world. It will change many many things because they will share the car, they will use in their activities because the car can be used by many people.

The car can do many jobs and no need driver. They will save the worktime of the driver, they will save earning. We can cut the number of many cars, we will reduce traffic problems, we will reduce the parking problems because there will be a few cars. They can move themselves. There will be a change in many ways.           
 
How about the cost of the production for the self driving car?

I believe that in the beginning it will be a little bit more expensive, but on the other hand, we will not have to pay the driver, we will not have to pay the time for driving. The driver can do something else when he is in the car. It is very very efficient and we will not have so many crashes. We will save money. There will be many many efficient things.

In the beginning, we will have to pay a litlle bit more but Mobileye's system which based on low cost solution. It is very different with some other big companies' solution like Google. Google spend US$ 150,000 for the technology of each self driving car.

But for Mobileeye solution, it is much much cheaper. It is not much expensive because we are using cameras and chips and it's very very much cheaper solution. This is why car makers have chosen Mobileye. 13 car makers are working with Mobileye for those driving cars but maybe 28 car makers are working with Mobileye for ADAS (Advance Driver Assistance System).

Can the self driving control the speed itself?

Yes, of course. This is already done. It is finished. The car will adjust itself according to distance to the car in front, according to the weather.    

Dua pendiri Mobileye, Profesor Amnon Shashua (kiri) and Ziv Aviram. (Mobileye)

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