Nio on Tuesday announced it will tap Intel-owned Mobileye for future electronic driver assist features, including a fully self-driving system.
As part of the deal, Nio will integrate Mobileye's self-driving system into cars to be sold to the public, as well as into cars to be used in driverless taxi services planned by Mobileye.
Mobileye's first service will be offered in the company's home market of Israel but other markets are planned. Timing wasn't mentioned but we know Mobileye will work with Volkswagen Group to launch a commercial driverless taxi service in Israel in 2022.
Mobileye's self-driving system operates at Level 4 capability on the SAE scale. A Level 4 self-driving car can operate without a driver in select conditions. The conditions usually include operating within a pre-determined, sufficiently mapped area, known as geofencing. They can also include weather restrictions. The ultimate goal is a Level 5 car which will be able to handle all the same conditions expected of a human.
Mobileye’s claim to fame is its EyeQ chip which uses proprietary image recognition software to help self-driving cars see the world. The technology was initially used for electronic driver assist features like collision warning but Mobileye is now using it for fully self-driving capability. Mobileye's self-driving system also relies on highly detailed maps developed with digital mapping company HERE.
Nio cars already rely on Mobileye technology for electronic driver assist features. The ES8 mid-size SUV, for example, features Mobileye's fourth-generation EyeQ chip which supports vehicle features such as adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and blind-spot monitoring.