On the road with new technologies
On the road with new technologies Chen Galili

(AFP) - Israeli technology firm Mobileye and UK-based auto-equipment maker Delphi said Tuesday that they were teaming up to develop an autonomous driving system which would be ready for vehicle-makers in 2019.

A joint statement by the two companies said that Mobileye's vision and sensor systems would combine with Delphi's automated driving software to create what it called "the market's first turnkey Level 4/5 automated driving solution."

The US-based Society of Automotive Engineers defines level 4 as "High Automation" in all but the most adverse driving conditions and level 5 as "Full Automation" "under all roadway and environmental conditions that can be managed by a human driver."

Last month, German car maker BMW announced that it was joining forces with Mobileye and US computer chip giant Intel on a self-drive project, also for "highly and fully automated driving" to be commercially available by 2021.

There is growing interest in self-driving cars following tests over the past few years by Google and research by several major automakers.

But on July 1, US electric car company Tesla announced that a driver was killed in a car crash in Florida in May while using the "autopilot" self-driving mechanism on one of its models.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it had opened a "preliminary evaluation" into the performance of the autopilot function in the wake of the crash.

A major study released earlier this month said the looming arrival of self-driving vehicles is likely to vastly reduce traffic fatalities, but also poses difficult moral dilemmas.

Scientists said autonomous driving systems will require programmers to develop algorithms to make critical decisions that are based more on ethics than technology, such as whether to sacrifice a driver or passenger rather than pedestrians.

Mobileye describes itself as the "global leader in the development of computer vision and machine learning, data analysis, localisation and mapping for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and autonomous driving."

Delphi says it is "a world leader in automated driving software, sensors and systems integration."