Mobileye considers taking lidar production in-house

The Intel-owned ADAS innovator Mobileye is considering making its own lidar sensors for self driving cars, as it explains its business plans to 2025.

Amnon Shashua (pictured), CEO of Mobileye and an Intel senior vice president, told Reuters that Mobileye’s first generation of full self-driving kits – which will include lidar units from supplier Luminar along with a range of other chips, sensors and software – will cost between $10,000 and $20,000 (£7,400- £14,800).

He adds that they will target the robo-taxi market that can spread the cost of the system over many trips. Mobileye plans to begin rolling out a test fleet of 100 completely driverless vehicles in Tel Aviv in 2022, with other cities to follow.

But Reuters adds that for 2025, Mobileye is developing its own lidar sensor that works on a principle called frequency modulated continuous wave, or FMCW, which is different from Luminar’s technology.

Shashua told Reuters the FMCW technology will benefit from Intel’s silicon photonics manufacturing expertise and will drive costs even lower for consumer cars. He said the house-built Mobileye lidar, in combination with cameras and radar, will be used on consumer vehicles and could also replace Luminar’s units in Mobileye-powered robo-taxis.

“We believe the cost of an entire self-driving system can be in the few thousand dollar range, and that brings us into a consumer vehicle position,” he’s further quoted as saying. “If we can make this work, it will also be used for robo-taxis. But we have time to make that decision five years from today.”

(Picture – Mobileye press room)

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