Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirms that Mobileye breakup will have no material effect on the Autopilot plans
Yesterday, we reported that Mobileye NV (NYSE:MBLY) announced that it will not renew its existing partnership with Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), as it will only provide the existing EyeQ3 processor used in its vehicles. Since the automaker expects to reach full autonomy with a few years, it will move away from the Mobileye’s technology.
The break of Tesla with Mobileye spurred speculation that the automaker might delay its plan to roll out the fully autonomous driving system. Though, Electrek reported Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has confirmed that the breakup with Mobileye will not affect the Autopilot time line and the automaker will be focusing on more integrated technology.
Mr. Musk said: “MobilEye’s ability to evolve its technology is unfortunately negatively affected by having to support hundreds of models from legacy auto companies, resulting in a very high engineering drag coefficient.”
He added that there will be no significant impact on the company’s plans and it is “laser-focused” to achieve complete self-driving technology on an integrated platform with far more safety than a manual driven vehicle.
Mobileye Chairman and CTO, Amnon Shashua said that his company will continue shipping the chip in the “near future.” However, the tech startup’s next-generation chips, EyeQ4 and EyeQ5, which are developed for more advanced autonomous systems will not be used in the Tesla vehicles.
Tesla and Mobileye are in a partnership since the automaker started working on the Autopilot program. The short-lived relationship has seen complications, as George Hotz told Bloomberg last December that Mr. Musk wants him to replace Mobileye and build an autonomous driving system. Though, Tesla quickly published a statement that they will continue using Mobileye’s technology.
Nevertheless, the automaker had been quietly building a team of chipmakers to develop the second generation Autopilot under the leadership of Kim Keller, the legendary, former Apple chip architect. Now it appears the complications between the two companies have now increased, as they have different view on implementation of the technology.