On their quarterly earnings call this morning, self-driving automotive technology company MobileEye announced that Mobileye’s work with Tesla will not extend beyond EyeQ3, the processor currently used in Tesla vehicles to provide the image analysis intelligence that enables Tesla’s driver-assisted autonomous tech
Mobileye CTO Amnon Shashua explained on the call that the company will continue to work with Tesla on improving the performance of EyeQ3 in use in Tesla cars, and suggested that concern around reputation regarding the safety of Mobileye’s tech, which is a clear reference to the fatal Autopilot crash earlier this year, though he didn’t cite the accident directly. He also didn’t expressly state whether Mobileye or Tesla ended the relationship.
Shashua also said that the company believes achieving true autonomy means going “beyond typical supplier relationships,” wherein a client just purchases support and service, and requires a true partnership between car makers and autonomous technology companies like Mobileye.
“EyeQ3 shipments will continue for the near future, and maybe for the longer future,” Shashua explained on the call regarding the discussion. “We simply decided where we wanted to put our resources for the future of autonomous driving… and we decided what we decided.”
An analyst questioned Shashua on the call regarding who initiated the separation, but the CTO declined to offer any additional clarity beyond the original statements, simply reiterating that Mobileye decided not to proceed. Mobileye also said on the call that Tesla’s business is “not material” to its bottom line in terms of a percentage of overall revenue.
The hesitation on clarifying how exactly the relationship ended is interesting given reports that Musk and self-driving solo engineer George Hotz (aka Geohot) exchanged emails about Hotz coming in-house to help Tesla develop its own self-driving supply stack. We’ve reached out to Tesla for additional info on how the Mobileye partnership wound down and will update if they provide more detail.
London and San Francisco-based Big Health pitches itself as a provider of “evidence-based, non-drug” solutions to tackle various mental health disorders, including via the digital delivery of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
The startup’s first product is Sleepio, a digital sleep improvement program that claims to help users overcome poor sleep, and has already deployed to over 750,000 employees at companies including Comcast, LinkedIn, Boston Medical Center, and Henry Ford Health System.
Today Big Health, which is already backed by Index Ventures, is disclosing that it has raised $12 million (£9.15m) in new funding led by Octopus Ventures. Also participating are Kaiser Permanente Ventures, Index, Sean Duffy (CEO, Omada Health), and JamJar Investments (the UK-based investment fund of the innocent drinks founders). Noteworthy is that Esther Dyson, and Peter Read are also previous backers.
We first took an in-depth look into Big Health’s digital health delivery proposition back in 2014, rightly questioning whether or not CBT-related therapy could really be effective without face-to-face consultation. At the time, the startup’s co-founder Peter Hames was adamant that it could, citing early trials of its Sleepio programme.
A few years later and Big Health is presenting more evidence that this is the case, citing what it claims was the first placebo-group randomized controlled trial (RCT) for a digital sleep program that shows Sleepio comparable in effect to in-person CBT, with 76 percent of insomnia sufferers achieving healthy sleep (Espie, 2012).
Meanwhile, more recent studies appears to show Sleepio to be effective in helping anxiety sufferers reduce their symptoms (Pillai, 2015), and demonstrating significant improvements in sleep and productivity for users (Bostock, 2016).
To date, Big Health says there have been 14 published peer-reviewed papers, providing what it claims is the largest evidence base of any digital therapeutic addressing mental health.
Following yesterday’s news of the NHTSA’s investigation into a fatal crash involving a Tesla Model S, Mobileye, the Israeli technology company helping power the carmaker’s Autopilot feature, has sent a statement to TechCrunch regarding the incident.
“We have read the account of what happened in this case,” reads the text attributed to Dan Galves, Mobileye’s Chief Communications Officer. “Today’s collision avoidance technology, or Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) is defined as rear-end collision avoidance, and is designed specifically for that.”
The statement strikes a decidedly different tone than yesterday’s Tesla announcement, which both mourned the loss of the driver (since identified as Ohio-based tech entrepreneur Joshua Brown) and reiterated the company’s safety measures, noting that, “Autopilot is getting better all the time, but it is not perfect and still requires the driver to remain alert.”
Galves, likewise, explains that the current generation of technology is not equipped to deal with the specific scenario that played out in the May 7th collision, though plans are in place to introduce it eventually. “This incident involved a laterally crossing vehicle, which current-generation AEB systems are not designed to actuate upon,” the statement explains. Mobileye systems will include Lateral Turn Across Path (LTAP) detection capabilities beginning in 2018, and the Euro NCAP safety ratings will include this beginning in 2020.”
The technology, it seems, has not yet been equipped to react to the specific case in which a vehicle turns across a lane. According to Tesla’s account from yesterday, “Neither Autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor-trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied.”
Mobileye was once again in the news this morning, when it was officially revealed that the company will be working with Intel to help bring BMW’s first fully self-driving car to market by 2021.