Autonomous Vehicles

Exclusive: Intel’s autonomous vehicle unit Mobileye ends NYC testing

The news comes 15 months after it began NYC tests and days after it filed for an IPO.
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Mobileye has stopped testing autonomous vehicles in New York, Emerging Tech Brew has learned.

Mona Bruno, a spokesperson for NYC’s Department of Transportation, confirmed via email that the Intel-owned autonomous-vehicle startup had canceled its NYC testing program. The news, which has not been previously reported, comes 15 months after Mobileye first announced it had expanded its robotaxi testing program to NYC, and days after the company filed for an IPO.

“If autonomous vehicles are to work anywhere, we firmly believe, they need to be able to work everywhere,” the company said in a July 2021 blog post announcing the NYC expansion, after securing what was, at the time, the only permit to test AVs in NYC. Last year’s announcement seemed especially notable due to the difficulties presented by NYC’s notoriously hectic and congested streets.

In an emailed statement, Mobileye spokesperson Alexis Blais told Emerging Tech Brew that its initial round of tests in New York had been completed as planned.

She added, “We test our autonomous vehicles in cities worldwide, to ensure that our technology can be flexible enough to adapt to local conditions and reach an impactful scale. We frequently rotate our test vehicles into new cities, such as adding Miami and Detroit this year, and plan to keep doing so.”

The company reportedly began with two AVs in New York and planned to expand to seven within the first few months of tests. Currently, Mobileye is actively testing its AVs in nine cities worldwide, Blais said in the statement: Detroit, Miami, Paris, Munich, Stuttgart, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, and Ningbo. The company declined to comment on the status of its testing program in Shanghai, which was mentioned in the initial blog post.

So far, Mobileye’s technology, which includes advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) that are not fully autonomous, has been deployed in more than 117 million vehicles, and the company is actively working with 50+ OEMs, according to its recent S-1 filing. The company has been profitable since 2019, with an operating income of $460 million last year.

In Mobileye’s original blog post, the company noted that NYC “isn’t the easiest place to test a self-driving vehicle, but that’s precisely why we’ve chosen to test there,” adding that it had shared a “completely unedited video of our AV testing on the streets of New York” in an effort to “demonstrate both our commitment to transparency and just how rapidly our technologies (such as REM mapping and autonomous-driving policy) can adapt to new driving environments.”

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