An Israel-based supplier of autopilot components, Mobileye NV, has secured agreements with two auto makers to provide systems for fully autonomous cars in 2019, deals that give a clearer timetable for when auto makers believe they can start producing vehicles entirely capable of driving themselves.
While there are many Silicon Valley companies, including Google parent Alphabet Inc.
, racing to develop autonomous-vehicle technology, Mobileye
is considered a leader given its current share in the market for components needed to enable self-driving features.
In an interview, Mobileye Chairman and Chief Technology Officer Amnon Shashua said the 2019 deals are “fully committed” and “real programs” that will represent an inflection point for the auto industry. Shashua declined to name the auto makers signing up for the technology.
He did say Volkswagen AG
, BMW AG
and General Motors Co.
are among the five auto makers in line to buy a system for vehicles produced in 2018 that will allow cars to operate autonomously only when driving on the highway; the 2019 deal will enable this type of functionality in all conditions.
Mobileye has increasingly provided components and software to auto makers looking to gradually introduce more semiautonomous features, including emergency-brake assist or lane-departure prevention, that are considered the building blocks for self-driving cars.