announced Mobileye, the Intel-owned company that specializes in chips for vision-based autonomous vehicles, is launching a robotic taxi service in Germany in 2022.
This represents the latest major step by a company seeking to counter the trend in the development of self-driving cars by becoming a supplier of self-driving technology as well as a fleet operator and service provider.
The taxi service is operated in partnership with German car rental company Sixt and mobility data startup Moovit, which was recently acquired by Intel for $900 million.
Customers can request a ride through the Sixt or Mobileye app. But it will not be a fully qualified robot taxi service at launch.
Mobileye says it will begin early passenger testing in Munich in 2022. But it won’t switch from testing to fully commercial operations until it has approval from German regulators.
A company spokesperson said: “The vehicle also includes safety drivers behind the wheel until regulatory approvals are received.”
Among today’s self-driving companies, Mobileye is uniquely ambitious in its plans for the future. The company is working on four different products that offer different levels of automation.
This includes ADAS, which is currently available to 25 companies. The premium ADAS advanced driver assistance system to be launched with ZeekrIt is an electric vehicle brand recently announced by Geely.
Read also: Intel presents its response to DLSS technology from NVIDIA
Intel launches robot taxis in Germany in 2022
The two advanced ADAS driver assistance systems will not include lidar, the sensor that uses a laser to determine the real-time location of objects on the road.
Two other Mobileye products use lidar, the Mobileye Drive autonomous driving system that uses the enterprise’s EyeQ on-chip system.
In addition to a crowdsourcing program for data called Road Experience Management, or REM. Which uses real-time data from Mobileye-equipped vehicles to create a global 3D map.
This product is used by customers such as Udelv, Transdev, Lohr and Schaeffler for applications such as delivery vehicles and autonomous shuttles.
Intel previously said it was beginning to test a robotic taxi service in Israel in partnership with Volkswagen. which it also plans to launch in 2022.
In addition, the chipmaker has a deal in place to test autonomous vehicles in South Korea, as well as to service robot taxis. These plans are awaiting local approval by regulators as well.
Read also: Intel wants to enter hybrid computing via Alder Lake