We regularly hear about successive successful tests of autonomous cars in various cities around the world, as well as new functionalities of Tesla brand vehicles, which are becoming more and more independent with each update. However, it seems that the Elon Musk concern must be careful, because Intel's Mobileye brand is growing in strength and announces technologies that may slightly confuse the market, and eventually even change the balance of power in the industry. Interestingly, although companies are their greatest competitors, they have adopted completely different tactics (mainly in terms of recognizing and reacting cars to tech girl on the road) and investment models, which makes their competition even more interesting.
Mobileye is an Israeli company bought by Intel in 2017 for 15 billion dollars, which has become the largest supplier of ADAS systems (active driver assistance systems, such as sensors, cameras and many others) installed in modern cars. This year, at CES, the company revealed its strategy for versatile autonomous vehicles that will not encounter the "glass ceiling" that Tesla will sooner or later encounter. According to CEO Amnon Shashua, Tesla relies on endless hours of video footage provided by a fleet of cars, which are then segregated to pick the ones best suited for AI training. Mobileye adopted a different solution, namely the much more expensive LIDAR sensors (devices operating in a similar way as radar, but using laser light instead of microwaves), which in turn are not recognized by Elon Musk.
More precisely, a combination of AI training on real recordings and LIDAR systems, which Mobileye believes is the most practical and trustworthy option. It is true that the company's ADAS systems do not use LIDAR yet, but the company has just presented a new version based on this technology, which will be implemented in the company's cars before 2025. This involves recording video data while driving, which is then processed locally to understand the geometry of the surroundings, and then sent to the company's specialists to help create advanced 3D maps.
These provide detailed geometric as well as contextual behavioral data typical for a specific region, city or street. The answer to the question of whether this is a better solution than the AI training used by Tesla, we will not know until the future, but it is worth recalling that Americans used to use Mobileye services, because until 2016 Elon Musk used Israelis solutions. This has changed over time, and currently their services are used by such giants as BMW, Ford, Nissan and Volkswagen.