back to article Intel's Mobileye unveils first 'production-grade fully electric self-driving vehicle,' partners with Sixt for Munich launch

Intel's Mobileye arm has announced a partnership with car rental giant Sixt to launch a fully autonomous robotaxi in Munich, showcasing the tech at the IAA Mobility conference this week – before admitting the platform won't open to the public until regulatory approvals are granted. The brightly coloured vehicle showcased by …

  1. Mishak Silver badge

    Old process nodes

    Old process nodes do have their advantages as they are less susseptible to upsets due to things like radiation.

    Whilst the probability of any particular device being hit by such an upset is statistically very low, it becomes a certainty when you have large fleets of vehicles (i.e. millions) in operation at any one time.

  2. Scott Broukell

    Regulatory approval or not, over recent months I have come to the conclusion that prior to such vehicles being publicly launched, the CEO of whatever company it is, should be strapped, comfortably, with adequate padding etc., to the front of said vehicle and stay in place for at least three months of everyday use, allowing for adequate sleep/food/toilet breaks etc. This way potential buyers will, I feel, be able to pass sound judgment on the validity of the claims made regarding the safety of such contraptions! I know I may sound like the nay sayers who railed against Stevenson's Rocket, but I feel very strongly that the proof really is in the eating of this particular pudding!

    1. Scott Broukell

      Oh damn and double blast! It has been pointed out to me by a fellow researcher at the establishment where I pass my time, that in all likelihood the outcome of the scenario that I outlined above, would result in the electronic-type computer "brains" controlling the vehicle, rapidly coming to the conclusion, through means of machine learning and algorithms etc., that having a squidgy meat-bag of a human draped over the front of the car in no way impedes forward progress and normal driving! Thus, potentially, foreshadowing the rise of the machines etc.! Upon reflection then, perhaps it would be more prudent to have said CEO merely as a front-seat passenger for the duration of the demonstration.

    2. G.Y.


      Hammurabi's code says that, when scaffolding is removed from a new building, the chief builder should be sitting under the keystone

  3. mevets


    Intel marketting speak: "...truly a lighthouse project for Europe..."

    Dutch sailing proverb: " A ship on the beach is a lighthouse to the sea. "

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: lighthouse?

      Ooooh, that's an interesting take.

  4. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Old times

    When I was a teen, I remember I built a self-driving car out of Lego. If only I got regulatory approval and had a knack for buzzwords I could be a billionaire today.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Old times

      It's true that Lego bricks are quite strong.

      Especially when you walk on one barefoot . . .

  5. iron Silver badge

    I would have thought that the ultimate goal of these robotaxi projects is to get to the point where hardly anyone owns a car and instead everyone hails a low emission robotaxi. Which means far fewer cars will be needed so that 5x increase in semiconductors may be true per car but overall the number of semiconductors used in the automotive industry will be similar or fewer than now.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      In fact the nature of car use is that the bulk of demand will be during the morning and evening rush hours. It won't be a demand that will be cheap to meet. The reality will be where the cost of rush-hour journeys balance out against the cost of owning a private vehicle.

      1. Persona

        Trains already have this problem. That's why train journeys are so much cheaper out of peak times as it encourages people who don't need to travel at peak times to wait. Taxis like Uber do this too, but you still have a driver who wants paying as well as the vehicle costs to cover. With a driverless taxi all it needs to do is beat running, depreciation and finance costs by a small margin to be profitable. A private vehicle still has those three costs to cover but the depreciation and finance costs are likely to be spread over many more journeys.

    2. mevets

      Final solution

      I am pretty sure the ultimate goal is avoid the recurring cost of drivers. Anything else is either a blessing or collateral damage.

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    The bright colour will help as a safety measure. Even so I won't be changing my plans re going to Munich. I haven't any.

  7. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Specious claims galore

    '"This vehicle has two layers of sensors working independently from each other at the perception level,"''

    Don't all sensors work at "the perception level" in some way or other?

    "each layer performs independently, they do not rely on each other in order to get a redundant system"

    Does this mean the result is (or is not) a redundant system?

    Parts of the announcement appear suspiciously like (in the words of George Orwell) doubleplusgood duckspeak.

    1. Mishak Silver badge

      Re: Specious claims galore

      Isn't that a "diverse" system (sensors of a different type) rather than a "redundant" system (multiple sensors of the same type)?

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Specious claims galore

        Apropos of which - what happens when you have a large number of cars in close proximity, all spitting out Lidar pulses? I've not worked with the technology, so I have no idea, but I can't help wondering about sensors receiving data from the wrong laser... is there some sort of negotiation going on to say 'my turn', 'your turn', 'no, no, after you' between vehicles, or is it down to collision detection of the signal (or something more esoteric)?

        Enquiring minds want to know!

  8. Flywheel

    also tells us how humans actually drive

    LOLLLLL.. Well. they should test it out in my part of Yorkshire. Many people seem to drive with their eyes closed/on drugs/both. Watch any episode of "Police Interceptors" and find out. Good luck with that testing!

  9. RobThBay

    A Johnny cab?

    ...claimed Johann "JJ" Jungwirth, Mobileye's vice-president for....

    Does anyone recall when it was referred to as a JohnnyCab?

  10. teknopaul

    How does the insurance work?

    Sixt are famous for being bloody awful with insurance claims, e.g double claims for scratches.

    How is this going to affect their bottom line? Are they going to be responsible for all their own driving!

    Or will their insurance dept come up with a few more pages of small print and still try to charge you when the car decides to drive into a lampost itself?

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: How does the insurance work?

      Its a robotaxi so there won't be anyone renting the car, just a ride in the car. You may need insurance when you rent a car from Sixt you will be driving, but not when you ride in a taxi with Sixt as a partner/owner.

  11. Snowy Silver badge

    Level 4

    That still needs the bag of mostly water to be paying attention while not doing anything. Close but no thanks!

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