The company, which he co-founded in 1999, makes a “driver-assist” system roughly the size of a computer mouse. Stuck behind a car’s rearview mirror, the device’s camera and custom chip allow it to predict when a driver is about to hit something and, if necessary, the system slams on the car’s brakes.
Mobileye sells its chips to auto suppliers for about $55 each—you’ll pay around $1,000 at the dealership for the full system—and they’re already on the road in 27 million cars worldwide. This uniquely broad distribution was one advantage Intel Corp. gained when it bought Mobileye last year for about $15 billion. The deal marked the biggest-ever acquisition in Israel, and a significant departure for the American chipmaker, which folded its old driverless car division into Mobileye. “We’re going to do what it takes to win,” says Intel CEO Brian Krzanich.The other feature that distinguishes the company is its outspoken approach to safety. Most pitchmen for self-driving cars tend to shy away from discussing possible failings of the technology for fear of spooking customers and regulators. Shashua has made addressing these concerns central to his marketing.
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