If you can make it there: Mobileye self-driving car drives the streets of New York City

If New Yorkers keep their eyes open while driving in the Big Apple, they can just see a driver in an adjacent street with no hands on the steering wheel, just enjoying the ride.

Mobileye, a Jerusalem-based firm that developed self-driving technology, has added New York City to its global autonomous vehicle program. The company was acquired by United States giant Intel Corp in 2017 for $15.3 billion.

Mobileye’s entry into NYC — the largest city in North America and one of the world’s most challenging driving environments — shows just how advanced the company’s technology is, the Israel-based firm said in a statement Tuesday.

“Driving in complex urban areas like New York City is an important step in examining the capabilities of an autonomous system and moving the industry closer to commercial readiness,” said Amnon Shashua, Intel’s senior vice president and president and CEO of Mobileye. Statement.

A video presented by the firm shows a Mobileye car, a white Ford, equipped with the firm’s computer vision technologies as well as radar and LIDAR systems, driving pedestrians, cyclists, drivers, double-parked vehicles through the city. Shows driving on highly congested roads with construction. fields, emergency vehicles, tunnels and bridges.

The video shows Ford, with the driver’s hands on his knees, passing behind a Wall Street Bull statue, stopping at a stop sign, avoiding people working in the street, and pedestrians at a crossing. Stops for walkers, who are completely unaware of themselves. Driving car is waiting for them. The car merges into a busy lane and passes Radio City and its bright lights at night.

The NYC pilot started after Mobileye recently applied for and received a New York Autonomous Vehicle (AV) test permit to drive autonomous cars on the congested streets of New York City. The firm said it is the only company that currently has such an AV test permit. The company has received a permit to drive its cars on the streets of Munich in Germany in 2020, and is also conducting test drives in Jerusalem.

Mobileye’s autonomous driving car is offering an enhanced driving experience, the statement said. This includes learning the behavior of NYC drivers, including cabs, who are proving more vocal than drivers in other cities, the statement said.

Although car ownership is low in NYC compared to other large US cities, the number and diversity of road users is high: NYC has more cabs and limousines than buses, trucks, food carts, horse-drawn carriages, emergency vehicles is more. Bicycles, scooters, skateboards, all making their way somewhere in the city. Double-parking is ubiquitous, and autonomous vehicles struggle with it: Video shows Mobileye’s AVs taking clues from other road users to decide when to maneuver around parked cars.

July 2021 (courtesy) A Mobileye car driving a pilot in New York City (courtesy)

In addition, NYC is a large construction area, and based on its constantly updated maps, Mobileye vehicles know how to avoid closed lanes and the bollards or cones that often alert for these conditions, as well as navigate through tunnels and bridges. We do.

The high amount of light emitted by the city’s bright night lights also presents a challenge for the car, challenging its sensing system. The company said it managed to overcome this with a bit of tuning to the algorithms that govern the car.

During a media event on the Nasdaq exchange Tuesday, Mobileye CEO Shashua showed how the technology is getting ready for commercial deployment, with autonomous vehicles handling the streets of NYC during day and night driving as well as heavy rains. Video sharing.

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