Delphi Automotive PLC and Mobileye NV are teaming up to work on producing off-the-shelf systems for everything from small cars to sport utilities and pickup trucks beginning 2019—and help them carve out a central role in the race to supply technology for driverless vehicles.
The pair will jointly invest “several hundred million dollars” in the effort, but a spokesman declined to provide other details.
In January, Delphi and Mobileye expect to demonstrate a system that can navigate tough road conditions, such as entering a roundabout, merging into highway traffic, or making left turns across multiple traffic lanes.
Their system won’t be ready until 2019 and tech integration in future vehicles could take as much as two years, the companies concede, making it unlikely to hit the market until 2021 or 2022.
Mobileye Chairman and Chief Technology Officer Amnon Shashua said the pair hope to overcome any timing hurdles by offering “a new level of driving intelligence,” mimicking a driver’s decision making behind the wheel in complex situations.
The joint project by Mobileye and Delphi could appeal to smaller and midsize car companies that don’t have the deep pockets of a GM to fund the big capital outlays needed to develop driverless technology in-house. Mobileye already has partnerships with some auto makers, including BMW AG.
“At this early stage, I think there is an interest by auto makers to be able to do as much as they can themselves,” said Jeremy Carlson, an analyst with consultants IHS Automotive. “The auto makers ultimately are going to be liable for all these systems. The need to know what the systems are doing.”