Mobileye Provides Sneak Peak of Robotaxi as Launch in Germany Approaches

Mobileye, the Jerusalem-based company that focuses on the development and creation of self-driving technologies, recently unveiled an autonomous car ride. The 40-minute-long presentation by the firm owned by Intel, paraded the car throughout Jerusalem, as the expected launch of the autonomous vehicle approaches. Later in the year, the company will officially be allowing the operation of its ride-hailing and autonomous taxi services in Tel Aviv, as well as Munich. The video posted of the demonstration showed the vehicle being operated in autonomous mode, as it mimicked the multi-stop behavior that is commonly found in ride-hailing services. Moreover, it displayed a humanlike skill throughout. 

According to the company, the video was showing the efficiency of the Mobileye Drive System, as well as Level 4 Autonomous Vehicle technology. In its words, the technology is responsible for providing a higher degree of automation without any human intervention in a couple of areas. Known as geofencing, this feature can be overridden if humans decide to. Footage shown of the vehicle from inside showed it traveling around the narrow streets of the capital at nighttime. The car also stopped at traffic lights and was being mindful of scooters and motorcycles. Furthermore, it successfully navigated around pedestrians jaywalking and waited patiently at a green light, while standing at a busy intersection. On the other hand, a human driver in a car at the same signal took an illegal u-turn. 

Mobileye further stated in an announcement that successful tests such as one demonstrated in the video marked an important milestone for the company. This is especially a big deal for the Intel subsidiary, as it is only months away from launching autonomous robotaxis in Germany, as well as Israel. The company joined hands with Sixt SE, an international mobility service and car rental giant headquartered in Germany, and Moovit, a smart transit data company based in the State of Israel. The aim of this partnership was to come up with an efficient and effective ride-hailing service. 

Mobileye will soon own the vehicles, whereas Sixt has agreed to operate and maintain them in both Germany and the Jewish state. These cars will be orange NIO SE8s and electric seven-seater SUVs, built specifically by Chinese electric vehicle (EV) producer. They have been designed in a way to be NIO powered by the company itself, in order to function easily for driverless and commercial ride-hailing services. After the launch, riders will be granted permission to access the ride-hailing service through an app developed particularly for this purpose by Moovit. Moreover, Sixt will also allow them the same opportunity, as its app combines various other offerings, such as car rental and car-sharing. 

As of now, Mobileye is going through the regulatory and permit approval process in both countries to move ahead with its plans without any problems. In the previous month, the Knesset also granted approval for a legislation to permit Mobileye and other firms to pilot autonomous ride-hailing and shared transportation services, while passengers were present in the vehicle. It also gave permission to operate these cars without the presence of a safety driver. 

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