You May Be Able to Buy a Self-Driving Car After All
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You May Be Able to Buy a Self-Driving Car After All

Technology supplier Mobileye has articulated a credible path to vehicle autonomy, and unlike most peers can fund its way

Mon, Jan 9, 2023 10:05amGrey Clock 3 min

A year ago, investors were wildly optimistic about the potential of automotive technologies such as automated driving. They now risk swinging to the opposite extreme.

Anyone looking for an idea of the cars that might be on sale in five years’ time likely found the news from this year’s CES in Las Vegas more muted than usual. Stellantis showed off new concept electric vehicles on Thursday, including a highly anticipated Ram pickup truck, but in reality it is playing catch-up with peers such as Ford and General Motors. Sony unveiled a brand for its new automotive joint venture with Honda, Afeela, but didn’t give many details of the much-hyped EV they expect to start selling in North America in 2026.

As Stellantis Chief Executive Officer Carlos Tavares pointed out in his keynote speech, more than $1 trillion of market value was wiped off automotive technology stocks last year. This isn’t just about Tesla: Shares in early-stage companies that don’t make profits have been even worse hit. That makes car makers understandably reticent about putting too much weight on—or money behind—the gizmos CES is best known for. Autonomous vehicles, the focus of much futurism in the industry, have taken a public beating, particularly since Ford and Volkswagen in October pulled the plug on their driverless-taxi joint venture.

Investors shouldn’t mistake the cautious turn in communication and funding for a lack of technological progress, though. Driverless taxis run by Alphabet’s Waymo and GM’s Cruise continue to roam the streets of San Francisco and Phoenix, albeit very cautiously and with strict limitations. The problem with these projects is that they are hugely expensive, with no proven business model or clear route to commercial scale. Unless this changes, they could suffer in a tighter financial environment.

Two Western companies above all make meaningful profits from the automation of driving today: Tesla and Israeli supplier Mobileye.

The former now charges $15,000 for its so-called “full self-driving” software package that automates most mundane driving tasks but, crucially, requires drivers to keep their eyes on the road as a backup. Tesla said late last month that 285,000 Tesla owners in North America had bought what it refers to as FSD, though far from all of them will have paid the latest price.

Mobileye, which was spun out of chip giant Intel last year through an initial public offering, has a comparable “eyes-on, hands-off” offering it calls SuperVision, in addition to the more basic assisted-driving technology that generates most of today’s profit. In an update at CES on Thursday, co-founder and CEO Amnon Shashua said SuperVision had a cumulative revenue pipeline of $3.5 billion through 2030, based on the production estimates of car makers that have included the technology in coming models.

Mr. Shashua also gave a levelheaded account of how Mobileye would move into the more adventurous realm of extended “eyes-off” autonomy, at least on and between highways. By adding a second sensor suite and then testing the finished product in an eyes-on “shadow” mode, Mobileye expects to deliver in 2026 the kind of provably safe automated driving that would actually give consumers time back. It said it already had “line of sight” toward $1.5 billion in revenue from one vehicle program that will likely include the product.

It is frustrating that Mobileye can’t yet reveal which brands are backing its latest products, beyond its Chinese launch partner Zeekr, but the supplier’s technological path to a more useful self-driving future seems much clearer than Tesla’s. The car maker run by Elon Musk has no plan to include backup sensors and doesn’t publish data on how often its system requires the human driver’s intervention—an approach unlikely to win over regulators or the broad public.

But the real appeal of Mobileye for investors is that it doesn’t demand an all-in bet on full autonomy: SuperVision and basic driver-assistance packages should underpin profitable growth for years. A forward earnings multiple of 44 times is ahead of 33 times for Nvidia, arguably its closest peer, but Mobileye should grow faster. Plus, a small premium doesn’t seem a big stretch for a company that could, maybe, let you read a book on your future commute.


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35 North Street Windsor

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Should AI Have Access to Your Medical Records? What if It Can Save Many Lives?

We asked readers: Is it worth giving up some potential privacy if the public benefit could be great? Here’s what they said.

Tue, May 28, 2024 4 min

We’re constantly told that one of the potentially biggest benefits of artificial intelligence is in the area of health. By collecting large amounts of data, AI can create all sorts of drugs for diseases that have been resistant to treatment.

But the price of that could be that we have to share more of our medical information. After all, researchers can’t collect large amounts of data if people aren’t willing to part with that data.

We wanted to see where our readers stand on the balance of privacy versus public-health gains as part of our series on ethical dilemmas created by the advent of AI.

Here are the questions we posed…

AI may be able to discover new medical treatments if it can scan large volumes of health records. Should our personal health records be made available for this purpose, if it has the potential to improve or save millions of lives? How would we guard privacy in that case?

…and some of the answers we received. undefined

Rely on nonpartisan overseers

While my own recent experience with a data breach highlights the importance of robust data security, I recognise the potential for AI to revolutionise healthcare. To ensure privacy, I would be more comfortable if an independent, nonpartisan body—overseen by medical professionals, data-security experts, and citizen representatives—managed a secure database.

Anonymity cuts both ways

Yes. Simply sanitise the health records of any identifying information, which is quite doable. Although there is an argument to be made that AI may discover something that an individual needs or wants to know.

Executive-level oversight

I think we can make AI scanning of health records available with strict privacy controls. Create an AI-CEO position at medical facilities with extreme vetting of that individual before hiring them.

Well worth it

This actually sounds like a very GOOD use of AI. There are several methods for anonymising data which would allow for studies over massive cross-sections of the population without compromising individuals’ privacy. The AI would just be doing the same things meta-studies do now, only faster and maybe better.

Human touch

My concern is that the next generations of doctors will rely more heavily, maybe exclusively, on AI and lose the ability or even the desire to respect the art of medicine which demands one-on-one interaction with a patient for discussion and examination (already a dying skill).


People should be able to sign over rights to their complete “anonymised” health record upon death just as they can sign over rights to their organs. Waiting for death for such access does temporarily slow down the pace of such research, but ultimately will make the research better. Data sets will be more complete, too. Before signing over such rights, however, a person would have to be fully informed on how their relatives’ privacy may also be affected.

Pay me or make it free for all

As long as this is open-source and free, they can use my records. I have a problem with people using my data to make a profit without compensation.

Privacy above all

As a free society, we value freedoms and privacy, often over greater utilitarian benefits that could come. AI does not get any greater right to infringe on that liberty than anything else does.

Opt-in only

You should be able to opt in and choose a plan that protects your privacy.

Privacy doesn’t exist anyway

If it is decided to extend human lives indefinitely, then by all means, scan all health records. As for privacy, there is no such thing. All databases, once established, will eventually, if not immediately, be accessed or hacked by both the good and bad guys.

The data’s already out there

I think it should be made available. We already sign our rights for information over to large insurance companies. Making health records in the aggregate available for helping AI spot potential ways to improve medical care makes sense to me.

Overarching benefit

Of course they should be made available. Privacy is no serious concern when the benefits are so huge for so many.

Compensation for breakthroughs

We should be given the choice to release our records and compensated if our particular genome creates a pathway to treatment and medications.

Too risky

I like the idea of improving healthcare by accessing health records. However, as great as that potential is, the risks outweigh it. Access to the information would not be controlled. Too many would see personal opportunity in it for personal gain.

Nothing personal

The personal info should never be available to anyone who is not specifically authorised by the patient to have it. Medical information can be used to deny people employment or licenses!

No guarantee, but go ahead

This should be allowed on an anonymous basis, without question. But how to provide that anonymity?

Anonymously isolating the information is probably easy, but that information probably contains enough information to identify you if someone had access to the data and was strongly motivated. So the answer lies in restricting access to the raw data to trusted individuals.

Take my records, please

As a person with multiple medical conditions taking 28 medications a day, I highly endorse the use of my records. It is an area where I have found AI particularly valuable. With no medical educational background, I find it very helpful when AI describes in layman’s terms both my conditions and medications. In one instance, while interpreting a CT scan, AI noted a growth on my kidney that looked suspiciously like cancer and had not been disclosed to me by any of the four doctors examining the chart.


This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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