Updated: Feb 24
Intel’s Mobileye division has become the first company to test fully self-driving cars on New York City's streets. New York with its crowded roads and notoriosuly aggressive drivers combined with rule-averse pedestrians and cyclists and highly variable weatheris a real stern test of an automomous car system. There are probably only a handful of tougher urban environments around the world in which to drive and to coin a phrase from the famous song about the city “if you can make it there you can make it anywhere”. At the same time the bulk of the competition such as Waymo appears content to be continue to test their systems in much less demanding cities such as Phoenix which is smaller and simpler to navigate around, has much better (often sunny and dry) weather which mean that there are dramatically fewer variables for a self-driving system to navigate around. Although these are early tests in New York by Mobileye, the very fact they are testing there shows that they have good confidence in their system already and that indeed it may have actually crept ahead in the race to achieve fully autonomous vehicles.