For the first time in New York: The Israeli Mobilai has begun an autonomous test ride

Mobilai, part of the Intel Group, adds the city of New York to the list of global destinations (which is expanding rapidly) in which it conducts test trips in the Autonomous Vehicle (AV). The company’s entry into New York, the largest city in North America and one of the most challenging driving environments in the world, illustrates the tremendous capabilities of its AV technology and demonstrates how its unique approach enables rapid geographical and economic expansion.

During a media event held today (Tuesday) at the Nasdaq in New York, Mobilai CEO Prof. Amnon Shashua explained how Mobilai’s technology is preparing for a commercial deployment. To illustrate, Prof. Shashua shared videos showing Mobilai’s autonomous vehicles tackling driving on the challenging streets of New York both during the day and at night, as well as during heavy rains. “Driving in complex urban areas like New York is a significant step in testing the capabilities of an autonomous system and bringing the industry closer to commercial readiness,” said Prof. Amusement.

In a video presented by Amusement, Mobilai’s camera-based autonomous vehicle successfully travels around New York City, tired to the brim. Mobilai’s True Redundancy ™ approach first doubles the capabilities of the computer vision-based subsystem, before adding another subsystem, based on the Lidar and Radar laser sensors.

Mobilai’s vehicle (Photo: Mobileye)

Currently Mobilai is the only company holding a permit for an autonomous driving test in the city. While driving both during the day and at night, Mobilai’s autonomous vehicle gains advanced experience. This experience floods seven particularly striking patterns:

pedestrians: Crossing a road not in designated places is common in many cities, but in New York it is a particularly widespread phenomenon, and combined with a very high number of pedestrians. The autonomous vehicle must make assumptions about the behavior of those pedestrians and incorporate these assumptions into its driving policy.

Driving culture: When the streets are congested, drivers become impatient and aggressive. New York City drivers, especially taxi drivers and other professional drivers, are much more assertive than drivers in other cities.

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Traffic density and variety of road users: Despite the low number of car owners in New York City, compared to other large cities in the US, the amount and variety of road users is particularly large. New York has a very large proportion of taxis and limousines, buses, trucks, food carts, horse-drawn carriages, vehicles Emergency, bicycles, scooters, skateboards and more.

Double parking: Who is parked and who is not? This question is easier for a person to answer than for a machine, and New York’s population density contributes to a high number of delivery vehicles that must stop to unload goods. Therefore double parking is common in New York. Autonomous vehicles have a hard time dealing with this, however Mobilai’s autonomous vehicle learns through other road users when to overtake.

Mobilai's vehicle (Photo: Mobileye)Mobilai’s vehicle (Photo: Mobileye)

Building: New York is one big construction site, and Mobilai knows this thanks to all the information accumulated in its regularly updated AV maps. While other competitors rely on their test cars to build maps or spend millions of dollars traveling on special mapping vehicles, Mobilai collects information about blocked or closed lanes from cars already on the road (information it also provides through a license to certain municipal services).

Tunnels and bridges: The island of Manhattan is connected to the surrounding areas by 15 tunnels and 21 bridges, many of which include narrow lanes, bounded by pillars or cones, due to the Achilles heel of many autonomous vehicles. Facing all those “street furniture”, and even facing multi-level roads, Mobilai’s mass mapping technology and its skilled sensing system, understand all these challenges and tackle them successfully.

In addition, the “visual noise” and light pollution deter the sensing system of the various autonomous vehicles. However, with few algorithmic adjustments, Mobilai’s autonomous vehicles deal with them efficiently.

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