Testing self-driving vehicles in New York amid restrictions

Mobileye, a company that specializes in vision-based self-driving vehicle chips, is testing its autonomous vehicles in New York City, a difficult and rare move given the state's restrictions on such testing. The announcement was made by Amnon Shashua, the company's president and CEO. owned by Intel, who confirmed that the company is currently testing two autonomous vehicles in New York City, but plans to increase that number to seven "in the next few months.

New York City has some of the most dangerous, crowded, and mismanaged streets in the world, filled with construction workers, pedestrians, cyclists, and double and sometimes triple parked cars. In theory, this would make it very difficult for an autonomous vehicle to navigate, since autonomous vehicles typically rely on good weather, clear signage, and less aggressive driving than other road users for safe operation. But Shashua said that was part of the challenge in deciding where to test the Mobileye vehicles.

"I think it's very difficult for a human being to drive in New York City, let alone a motorized car," Shashua said.

While other states have become a hot family for AV testing, New York has been a bit of a ghost town. Part of the reason may be the state's strict rules, which include requiring safety drivers to put their hands on the wheel at all times and requiring the testing company to pay state police escorts at all times. times.

A spokesperson for Mobileye says the company has obtained state permission to test its vehicles on public roads and is currently the only AV test permit holder in the state. She did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In 2017, GM-backed Cruise announced plans to test its self-driving vehicles in lower Manhattan, but those plans were thwarted without a simple explanation of why. Boston-based Optimus Ride has tested independent buses in Brooklyn, but only on private routes as part of the town's Navy Yard. Meanwhile, operators have flocked to places with friendlier regulations (like Arizona) or places more suitable for their headquarters (like California).

Shashua said Mobileye's turnkey self-driving system is based on two subsystems: one based on 12 cameras and without other sensors, and the other with lidar and radar, but no cameras. He said the company will combine the two subsystems later this year.

The camera system will only go into production as an advanced Level 2 driver assistance system in Zeekr, a new electric vehicle brand from China's Geely. This will allow Mobileye to collect more data from consumer-owned vehicles, which it will then use to boost its fleet of autonomous vehicles.

The Mobileye system also includes two of the Israeli company's latest EyeQ systems on a chip and data crowdsourcing software called Road Experience Management, or REM, which uses real-time data from Mobileye-equipped vehicles to create a 3D global map.

The company is testing self-driving vehicles in various cities worldwide for the eventual launch of its robotaxi service and said it will bring its technology to personally owned consumer vehicles by 2025 as well. Earlier this year, Mobileye said it would launch a full-scale, full-scale driverless car delivery service starting in 2023.

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