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$17.67 -0.4  -2.2%

Last Trade - 16/04/21

Market Cap £638.8m
Enterprise Value £638.5m
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Position in Universe 2946th / 6850

Intel's self-driving car unit plans to step up use of its own radar tech by 2025

Tue 12th January, 2021 10:23pm
By Stephen Nellis
    SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - The head of Intel Corp's
 INTC.O  self-driving car subsidiary said on Tuesday the company
wants to shift toward using its own radar-based technology and
use a single lidar sensor per vehicle by 2025 in a bid to lower
the cost of autonomous driving.
    Mobileye has taken a different strategy from many of its
self-driving car competitors, with a current camera-based system
that helps cars with adaptive cruise control and lane change
assistance. Those systems are on the road today and are
gathering data to help Mobileye map the roads in new cities.
    For more advanced systems, the company plans to add both
radar sensors, which use radio waves to detect distance from
objects, and lidar, a laser-based system that helps self-driving
vehicles gain a three-dimensional view of the road. For a
planned fleet of so-called robotaxis, which are commercial
vehicles meant to ferry around passengers, the company is
tapping sensors from Luminar Technologies Inc  LAZR.O . 
    In a presentation a the Consumer Electronics Show, Chief
Executive Amnon Shashua said on Tuesday that Mobileye's
robotaxis will use multiple Luminar units to gain 360-degree
lidar, radar and camera coverage all around the vehicle. The
robotaxis rolling out in at least eight cities starting in 2022
will each have four Luminar units, Shashua said in a subsequent
question and answer session. 
    But Mobileye is also developing its own lidar sensor that it
plans to start using in 2025 for cars aimed at consumers.
    That 2025 consumer system will feature a single lidar unit
facing the front of the vehicle, while cameras and a new
radar-based system that Mobileye is also developing will cover
the entire vehicle. Shashua said Mobileye is developing new ways
to process radar data with software that will make radar more
powerful. Radar sensors are cheaper than lidar but give a less
detailed image.
    "The difference between radars and lidars in terms of cost
is an order of magnitude," he said. "No matter what people tell
you about how to reduce the cost of lidar, radar is ten times
lower. We are building lidars, so I know exactly the cost of the
lidars."
    In a statement, Mobileye said it plans to continue to use
Luminar lidars "as much as possible" after introducing its own
lidar sensors. Mobileye plans to offer its self-driving
technology to automakers as separate components, meaning that
automakers could choose a Mobileye system but use Luminar
sensors for the lidar units.
    Luminar declined to comment.

 (Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco
Editing by Matthew Lewis)
 ((Stephen.Nellis@thomsonreuters.com; (415) 344-4934;))
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