Intel’s self-driving car division, Mobileye, used last weekend’s Munich auto show to announce plans to launch a self-driving taxi service in Germany in 2022.
The service will initially be run as a trial in Munich but there are plans to expand it to more cities as regulations allow, including some in the U.S.
Mobileye has previously announced plans to launch a self-driving service in Tel Aviv in 2022, where the company is headquartered and did most of its early testing.
Initially, the services will still have a safety driver behind the wheel.
Mobileye will use Nio ES8 electric crossovers for its self-driving fleet and booking a ride in one will require the use of company’s own ride-hailing app known as Moovit. For the German service, riders will also be able to use an app from SIXT. The car rental giant has been tapped to maintain and operate the fleet.
Mobileye’s self-driving system, known as Mobileye Drive, is ranked at Level 4 on the SAE scale of self-driving capability. This means it can operate without a driver in select conditions. The conditions usually include operating within a pre-determined, sufficiently mapped area, known as geo-fencing. They can also include weather restrictions. The ultimate goal is a Level 5 car which will be able to handle all the same conditions expected of a human.
Mobileye Drive is really like two separate systems which work simultaneously for redundancy. One relies on cameras, similar to what Tesla is doing. The other relies on sensors like radar and lidar.
Mobileye Drive has also been designed to be modular, meaning it can be fitted to various types of vehicles. This is also a strategy that Tesla plans to employ with its system, with the company even promising a humanoid robot that can move about autonomously and handle mundane tasks.