Tesla and Mobileye Fire a Shot at Each Other
Both parties have completely different stories.by Robert Moore, on
The drama between Mobileye and Tesla is finally unfolding with both companies releasing a statement about their failed relationship. Shortly after the Model S accident that was, at the time, said to be the first fatal accident involving Tesla’s AutoPilot System, Mobileye and Tesla parted ways. Mobileye’s reasoning was said to revolve around the safety of the AutoPilot system. Now, both companies have fired a shot at one another, essentially blaming each other for their falling out.
To put things shortly, Tesla says it was Mobileye’s fault, and Mobileye stands by the fact that the AutoPilot system is safe. But, there’s a lot more to the story than that. Mobileye has recently released a statement claiming that it expressed safety concerns regarding the use of hands-free AutoPilot, and Tesla subsequently agreed that AutoPilot Activation would be hands-on. But, when late 2015 rolled around and the AutoPilot system rolled out to the Model S, it had a hands-free activation mode. Mobileye claims that it made “substantial efforts” to push the project to into a safer state, but was unable to do so. When the May 7th accident took place, Tesla blamed the Camera, then the radar system. Ultimately, Mobileye felt the partnership could no longer continue.
Tesla, on the other hand, is saying that the relationship ended because Mobileye tried to stop them from developing their own in-house vision system for AutoPilot. According to Tesla’s statement, Mobileye wanted to raise the price of their product retroactively, only use the data collected from the AutoPilot system for future Mobileye development, and that Tesla continue to source vision processing equipment and software from Mobileye until the system was considered to be “Level 4.” When Tesla refused to cancel its own in-house development, Mobileye canceled hardware support for future platforms and threw out the safety concerns excuse.
Mobileye also claims that it had little knowledge of Tesla’s in-house development, outside of knowing that Tesla had put together a “small team.” Tesla may continue to fire shots at Mobileye, but Mobileye made it a point to say it has commented fully on the failed relationship and will not comment on it any further. So, now we have two very different stories, and it’s on you to decide who you want to believe.
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Why it Matters
At this point, it’s kind of hard to put faith in Tesla. I’m a fan of Tesla, but it made that shady move of not announcing the May 7th accident prior to a stock offering, then there’s that recent news about an accident in China that happened back in January and may very well have been the first AutoPilot-related fatality. Rumors have been swirling about whether or not Tesla knew of that accident long before the May 7th accident, but so far little has been said to confirm or deny those rumors. And then you have Mobileye who would, in theory, be threatened by Tesla designing its own vision system in-house.
If Tesla was successful, it would have had no need for Mobileye by the time the system was complete, and the relationship would have come to an end anyway. Did Mobileye end the relationship to stick it to Tesla and simply cite safety concerns because it makes Mobileye look better? Quite possibly. If you’re smart, you hit someone where it really hurts, and the end of the relationship between the two companies certainly hurt Tesla more than it did Mobileye. What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.
Source: Street Insider