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Intel's Mobileye will help China's public transport go autonomous

It's also bringing semi-autonomous tech to Great Wall's cars.
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AP Photo/Andy Wong

Mobileye is making a big push for autonomous driving in China, albeit not in the way you might expect. The Intel-owned company is "exploring" two major deals to use its self-driving tech in the country, most notably for mass transit. It's hoping to team up with Beijing Public Transport Corporation and Beijing Beytai to roll out driverless mass transit services in China, including the development of Level 4 (fully autonomous in specific conditions) tech and the creation of an industry standard. If everything goes forward, it could be ready in 2022.

Simultaneously, Mobileye is talking to Great Wall Motors about incorporating semi-autonomous (up to Level 2) technology in its cars. The two are also looking at development of Level 3 and higher technology adapted specifically to Chinese roads. There's no firm timeline for when either project might be ready, though.

These wouldn't be Mobileye's first partnerships in China (it has alliances with Nio and SAIC, for example). However, they could be some of the most important. If it powers Beijing buses and other public transportation options, it could become a mainstay of Chinese daily life -- and that's important for both its reputation and its bottom line. Great Wall, meanwhile, is a popular brand for SUVs and trucks in China. That could give Mobileye an edge over rivals focused more on driverless sedans.

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