EyeQ puts intelligence into mobility

| Transport

Super-computer system-on-chip has been developed for advanced driver-assistance systems

Intel subsidiary develops single package System-on-Chip technology to enable the next stages of advanced mobility

Mobileye, part of computer technology company Intel, has developed the EyeQ Ultra, an advanced, high performing system-on-chip (SoC) device that has been purpose-built for autonomous driving.

The company designed the EyeQ Ultra after having first built an autonomous vehicle (AV) itself to understand exactly what self-driving requires to operate at a very high mean time between failures (MTBF). This approach enabled the optimum balance of performance across different accelerators and general-purpose processors in an extremely efficient power-performance envelope.

The EyeQ is an existing range of processors of which the Ultra marks a leap in development of the range, packing the performance of 10 EyeQ5s into a single package. Making use of 5 nanometer process technology, EyeQ Ultra can handle all the needs and applications of Level 4 (L4) autonomous driving without the power consumption and costs related to integrating multiple SoCs together. Additionally, the Ultra has been engineered in tandem with Mobileye software, enabling extreme power efficiency with zero performance sacrifice.

EyeQ Ultra utilises an array of four classes of proprietary accelerators, each built for a specific task. These accelerators are paired with additional CPU cores, ISPs and GPUs in a highly efficient system capable of processing input from two sensing subsystems – one camera-only system and the other radar and lidar combined – as well as the vehicle’s central computing system, the high-definition map and driving policy software.

Architecture Evolution

The introduction of EyeQ Ultra comes at the same time as two new EyeQ SoCs for ADAS – the EyeQ6L and EyeQ6H – and follows the shipment of Mobileye’s 100 millionth EyeQ SoC late last year. First introduced in 2004, the EyeQ transformed the ADAS market by proving that cost-effective camera sensors processed by Mobileye’s purpose-built technology were capable of preventing and mitigating collisions. The innovation of EyeQ helped make roadway safety technology more accessible, bringing features including forward-collision warning, lane departure warning and blind spot detection to millions of drivers around the world.

This proven EyeQ architecture laid the foundation for the EyeQ Ultra. Designed to make consumer AVs accessible, EyeQ Ultra extends the boundary of processing into the cloud using Mobileye’s Road Experience Management (REM) mapping technology. Gathered via millions of vehicles on the road already equipped with Mobileye, REM captures packages of road data to create the Mobileye Roadbook, which is accessed via the cloud to provide, in real time, up-to-date information on the drivable paths ahead.

Industry Collaboration

To ensure the greatest reach for its technology, Mobileye has struck a number of collaborative partnerships with key players in the automotive industry, including with VW on its “Travel Assist 2.5” product, which features in the latest ID.4 electric vehicle and will be further rolled out to other models using the same platform, such as Škoda and Seat electric vehicles.

The EyeQ Ultra and Mobileye Roadbook technology enables the use of Swarm Data to provide a safer environment for users of the car. This cloud-generated database of highly precise, high-definition maps is collected via Mobileye-equipped vehicles and used in such applications as lane-keeping assistance in areas without visible lane markings, for example.

Similarly, Ford will also begin using Road Experience Management technology within its “Ford BlueCruise” system, which will allow true hands-free driving on qualified dual carriageways and other roads, thanks to even better lane-centring and lane-keeping technology. The companies also are working together on an open platform from Mobileye that will allow Ford to build and integrate Ford’s own proprietary systems to provide a competitive advantage on autonomous technologies.

Ford president and CEO Jim Farley said. “We are excited to work with Mobileye on a platform that supports our development of next-generation autonomy technologies. Our investment in these capabilities will allow us to transform our customers’ transportation experiences.”

Consumer Level 4 Vehicle

China is pushing ahead with the development of consumer grade level 4 autonomous vehicles. One of the country’s main manufacturers, Geely is focusing on its “Zeekr” electric mobility brand and has entered into a partnership with Mobileye to build a new all-electric vehicle with L4 capabilities enabled by Mobileye True Redundancy sensing, REM mapping technology and Responsibility-Sensitive Safety (RSS)-based driving policy along with Geely SEA architecture’s true-redundant braking, steering and power under an Open EyeQ concept that allows seamless integration between Mobileye and Zeekr technologies.

It is believed to be the world’s first L4 vehicle for consumers and is expected to debut in 2024 in China, with a global rollout to follow.

According to Andy An, CEO of Zeekr Intelligent Technology, Mobileye has been a strategic partner in delivering lifestyle vehicles capable of fulfilling a more sustainable and autonomous future of transport.

“Our partnership supports Zeekr and Mobileye’s shared ambitions for leading the global ADAS and AV industry. Zeekr welcomes open collaboration that enables the integration of technological expertise to create a more sophisticated autonomous mobility experience for our customers,” he says.

The partnership has already resulted in the first shipment to customers of a fully capable level 2+ vehicle equipped with a 360-degree surround view sensing system and driving policy for advanced longitudinal and lateral control.

Autonomous Delivery Vehicle

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Udelv showcased its cab-less autonomous electric delivery vehicle for multi-stop deliveries, the Transporter. The vehicle relies on Mobileye technology to power its autonomy.

The multi-stop electric delivery vehicle features a proprietary, self-contained, hot swappable modular cargo pod called the uPod. It can carry up to 2,000 pounds of goods, make up to 80 stops per cycle at highway speeds, cover ranges between 160 and 300 miles per run depending on the battery pack option and be operated by Udelv’s mobile apps to seamlessly schedule, deliver, track and retrieve packages.

The vehicle is the result of years of experimentation, client testing and hardcore mechanical, electrical and software engineering. Since the delivery of the first autonomous delivery vehicle on public roads in California in 2018, Udelv has completed over 20,000 deliveries for multiple merchants in this and neighbouring states. Udelv aims at having 50,000 units of the Transporter, driven by Mobileye, on public roads by 2028, with the first Transporters being commercially deployed in 2023.

The Transporter is driven by the Mobileye “Drive” self-driving system with a robust suite of cameras, LiDARs, radars and the fifth generation of the EyeQ System-on-Chip for automotive applications. To rapidly deploy at scale, the Transporter will integrate Mobileye’s AV maps based on Road Experience Management (REM).

The vehicle features Udelv’s 24/7 proprietary ultra-low latency camera-based teleoperation system for remote manoeuvres and assistance and Udelv’s uECU (Electronic Control Unit) acting as the vehicle’s central computer unit to integrate and optimise all functions.

Jonathan Newell
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