Mobileye unveils new self-driving taxi, to launch in Tel Aviv in 2022

Mobileye unveiled a new fully autonomous electric robotic taxi at the IAA Mobility conference in Munich on Tuesday that could become the first fleet of self-driving taxis to launch in Europe and Israel. IAA is the German abbreviation for International Automobile Exhibition.

Self-driving, six-passenger taxis could appear on the streets of Tel Aviv and Munich within a year pending regulatory approval, Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) vice president of mobility Johan Jungwirth told The Jerusalem Post.

He said Mobileye is in talks with Israel’s Ministry of Transport, and is “cautiously optimistic” about getting approval for Robotaxis in 2022. This will require overcoming a strong lobby from the taxi drivers union, which previously was successful in preventing ride-sharing app Uber from entering the Israeli market.

Once the technology is approved in Israel, the service will first start in Tel Aviv and then expand to other cities, Jungwirth said.

Moovit, whose app is used by more than 600 million users worldwide to plan trips via public transport, will be used for users to book robotic taxis, and autonomous vehicles (AVs) from MoovitAV. will be branded as services so that customers can have a relationship between the two. Mobileye and Moovit are both Israeli companies owned by global computing giant Intel Corp.

The fleet launch in Germany will be carried out in collaboration with Sixt, a leading international provider of mobility services, and aims to increase driverless ride-sharing services in Germany and other European countries later this decade.

Riders in Germany will be able to access the service via Moovit or the Sixt app ONE, which combines options for ride hailing as well as car rental, car sharing and car subscriptions, offering customers worldwide access to more than 200,000 vehicles. and provides access to 1.5 million drivers.

Mobileye will own the Robotaxi fleet used in the Munich service, while Six will be charged with maintaining and operating the fleet.

The Robotaxi fleet will use the NIO ES8, an all-electric, 7-seater sport utility vehicle manufactured by NIO of China. It will be equipped with the Mobileye Drive self-driving system, which includes a true redundancy sensing solution with camera, radar and lidar sensors, Mobileye’s crowd-sourced Roadbook AV Map and a responsibility-sensitive safety driving policy.

Mobileye will collaborate with German auto supplier Schaeffler to develop a self-driving chassis that could be used to build autonomous shuttles in the future.

“It will be the most beautiful self-driving robot in the world,” Jungwirth said. “We designed the cameras in the roof unit in a way that makes the technology virtually invisible, unlike other robotaxi models being used.”

A number of robotic taxi services have begun operating in China in recent months, and limited trials are being conducted in the United States.

Germany recently enacted an autonomous vehicle law that allows driverless vehicles on German roads, paving the way for the start of early-rider trials for Mobileye’s Robotaxis on the streets of Munich in 2022, Jungwirth said. said.

“Germany has shown global leadership toward the future of autonomous mobility by accelerating critical AV legislation,” Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said at the IAA. “Our ability to start robotaxi operations in Munich next year would not have been possible without this new legislation.”

The launch will be part of the vision Mobileye has been pursuing since being acquired by Intel in 2017 for $15.3 billion, the largest acquisition by an Israeli company to date.

The co-founder and CEO of the company, Prof. Amnon Shashua said, “MobileYe is passionate about bringing autonomous vehicles to consumers. “The new Mobileye AV is an important milestone on the way to a driverless world, accessible through the MoovitAV service.”

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