Israel-based autonomous driving and advanced driver assistance developer Mobileye is expanding operations by establishing a laser sensor (lidar) division. This follows the acquisition of US startup Eonite Perception last November by Mobileye's parent company Intel Corp., for several tens of millions of dollars, sources inform "Globes."
Eonite Perception has developed software for 3D mapping, tracking and identification (understanding) using laser sensors (lidar) or depth cameras. Eonite started out in a range of applications such as virtual reality and mapping inside and outside of buildings before moving into the field of proving the feasibility of autonomous cars. Founded in 2016, Eonite has raised $5.3 million in seed financing according to Crunchbase.
Following the acquisition, Eonite has been integrated into a new division set up by Mobileye called LIDAR AI. The new division is based in San Francisco and as far as is known is built around Eonite's employees.
In the past, Mobileye has always claimed that its camera and processing technology is the most comprehensive, efficient and easy to apply economic solution of all the sensor technologies available for autonomous cars. However, Mobileye now seems to be changing its approach in the wake of the entry of full autonomous car projects, such as the joint project with Volkswagen to develop robot taxis in Israel, which requires sensor technologies which create redundancies - to back up and improve the precision of the car's sensor in difficult conditions such as low visibility, heavy rain etc.
As far is known, Eonite is the third startup bought or invested in by Mobileye (or Intel's autonomous car division) in the past two years. The names of the other two companies have not been reported.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 6, 2019
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