June 20, 2023

Mobileye CTO: “AVs Are Part of the Future and Are Here to Stay”

Speaking at EcoMotion 2023, Prof. Shai Shalev-Shwartz outlined two obstacles on the road to the autonomous future – and Mobileye’s approach to overcoming both.

Mobileye CTO Prof. Shai Shalev-Shwartz spoke about the autonomous future at EcoMotion 2023. (Photos: Noga Shadmi van de Reep)

Mobileye CTO Prof. Shai Shalev-Shwartz spoke about the autonomous future at EcoMotion 2023. (Photos: Noga Shadmi van de Reep)

Are autonomous vehicles “dead or inevitable?” That’s one question which the EcoMotion conference sought to tackle this year. And to answer, they brought in our Chief Technology Officer, Prof. Shai Shalev-Shwartz, who spoke on a panel together with former Florida state senator Jeff Brandes, moderated by Autonocast co-host Alex Roy.

“By now there is evidence that self-driving is possible,” said Prof. Shalev-Shwartz. “We see self-driving cars in the streets of San Francisco and Austin. So I think that we are beyond this obstacle. The problems are different.”

Those problems are the same that Shalev-Shwartz and his colleagues laid out in a research paper six years ago, namely: safety and scalability.

EcoMotion 2023 featured a panel discussion between Prof. Shai Shalev-Shwartz, Jeff Brandes, and Alex Roy.

To tackle the former, Mobileye formulated the Responsibility-Sensitive Safety™ model (RSS™). As Shalev-Shwartz put it: “There is no way to guarantee absolute safety. So the question is, if we cannot guarantee absolute safety, what can we guarantee? And how can we have a language that enables us to talk about exactly what is ‘safe’ and what is ‘not safe’?” That’s what RSS seeks to define, he noted. “If everybody would act according to RSS, then there would be no accidents at all.”

The key to scalability and economic viability, according to Shalev-Shwartz, is to take a long view towards the autonomous future, maintain the profitability needed to stay the course, and clearly and honestly communicate the technology’s capabilities along the way. “We view AVs as a marathon and not a short sprint. We are trying to be very honest about what the technology is capable of, and what the technology is not capable of.”

Mobileye Chief Technology Officer Prof. Shai Shalev-Shwartz speaks about autonomous vehicles at EcoMotion Week 2023.

“We believe that the right way to win a marathon is to start with the foundations and then make incremental changes, incremental improvements, while having a solid business all the time, rather than trying to make promises or to go all the way to something that you cannot hold your breath for long enough,” said Shalev-Shwartz. “This was Mobileye’s approach from day one. We have a solid ADAS business, we are profitable all the time. We're developing autonomous vehicles and we are profitable all the time. Then we make the next step to SuperVision,” Mobileye’s hands-off/eyes-on solution and a vital step along the path to the incremental deployment of autonomous-driving technologies.

“This is the approach. No hype – just be honest about what you're giving and do useful products that people can enjoy today, have a solid business, and make progress.”

Ultimately, Prof. Shalev-Shwartz concluded, “I think the future is going to be very, very interesting. And I think AVs are part of the future and are here to stay, and we will all enjoy them in the future.”

Watch the full session in the video below.

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