Intel company Mobileye has added New York City to its growing global autonomous vehicle (AV) testing programme. The city boasts one of the most challenging driving environments in the world. With the tests, Mobileye aims to demonstrate the rich functionality of its AV technology as well as the rapid geographic and economic scalability of the Mobileye approach. Mobileye had previously tested its technology in Jerusalem, Munich and other cities. "Driving in complex urban areas like New York City is a critical step in testing the capabilities of an autonomous system and bringing the industry closer to market readiness," comments Mobileye CEO Amnon Shashua,
As the video below shows, Mobileye's camera-based subsystem handles busy streets filled with pedestrians, cyclists, aggressive road users, double-parked vehicles, construction sites, emergency vehicles, tunnels and bridges. The equipment is complemented by a second redundant subsystem based on radar and lidar sensors as part of Mobileye's True Redundancy approach.
With permission to test self-driving vehicles in New York City, Mobileye is currently the only company to hold such a permit. The demanding test drives take place both during the day and at night. Seven factors are the focus:
- Pedestrians: Carelessly crossing the road is common in many cities. Due to the high number of pedestrians in New York, this behaviour poses an even higher risk. A self-driving car must make assumptions about the behaviour of these road users and incorporate them into its driving strategy. Humans do this instinctively, whereas machines must be programmed to do so.
- Driving behaviour: When roads are congested, drivers tend to become impatient and aggressive. Drivers in New York City - especially taxis and other commercial vehicles - are known to be much more energetic than in other cities.
- Traffic density and diversity of road users: Although the number of car owners in New York City is