Porsche has partnered with Mobileye, the autonomous driving unit that Intel spun off into a public company last year, to bring hands-free automated assistance and navigation features to future sports cars, the companies announced on Tuesday.
In the upcoming collaboration, Mobileye’s SuperVision technology platform will serve as the basis for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in Porsche’s future vehicles. According to Mobileye, SuperVision enables cars to follow navigation routes, autonomously change lanes and automatically overtake slower vehicles on multi-lane roads. The company even boasts that its system allows drivers to take their hands off the wheel on certain types of roads, as long as they remain visually alert in the event they need to take control of the vehicle. SuperVision relies on a series of cameras and supporting radar to perceive the environment.
The partnership comes a few months after Porsche’s parent company, Volkswagen, and Ford pulled back on their investments in autonomous vehicle tech company Argo AI, prompting the startup’s closure. Argo developed Level 4 autonomous vehicle technology that would allow the vehicle to handle all aspects of driving under specific conditions without human intervention SAE.
The company had already started partnerships with Lyft to offer public robotaxi services in several cities. However, the services did not yet cost passengers, and the road to the market for robotaxis became longer and more opaque every day. Ford and VW chose to prioritize shorter-term gains from ADAS rather than moonshot bets like full autonomy.
When Volkswagen ended its deal with Argo AI, it was allegedly extended cooperation with Mobileye. VW’s software unit Cariad already had a relationship with Mobileye to develop highly automated and autonomous driving technologies. Cariad is also collaborating Bosch, Qualcomm and China’s Horizon Robotics with the same goals.
“Mobileye is one of the world’s leading providers of automated driving functions. This technology will help us to further advance our strategy of modern, sporty luxury,” said Porsche CEO Oliver Blume in a statement. “We combine an outstanding product with a very personal experience. The wishes and lifestyles of our customers are important to us. We always want to exceed expectations.”
Porsche will fully integrate Mobileye’s ADAS into its future models. According to Mobileye, the company’s in-house engineers will develop custom systems to monitor driver alertness.
“In most situations, drivers will still want to drive a Porsche themselves in the future – and be able to do so at any time,” says Michael Steiner, Board Member for Research and Development at Porsche and Head of Development at the VW Group. “However, we are interested in certain aspects of semi-automated driving. Intelligent systems such as Mobileye SuperVision technology can support drivers in everyday situations, for example by not having to keep their hands on the steering wheel all the time in traffic jams.”
Porsche hasn’t said when customers will see Mobileye’s technology in future models, nor which models will feature SuperVision. The company said other VW Group brands could adopt SuperVision as a platform solution.