A new video published by Mobileye, a company that develops autonomous driving technologies and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), shows their latest software, known as Mobileye Supervision, making an unprotected left turn.
If you’re unfamiliar with the terminology here, unprotected, effectively means a turn that is not protected by traffic lights that control the flow of traffic.
Making a left turn at an intersection like this, can be one of the most challenging maneuvers for any driver.
In the video, we see Mobileye’s SuperVision software running on a Zeekr 001. The car approaches a 4-way intersection, and slows to a stop at the stop sign – Isarel’s stop signs are a white hand on a red background, rather than the word STOP like they are in Australia.
After watching a pedestrian move out of the crosswalk, the car slows to a stop at the line automatically and automatically turns on the indicator to turn left. With the driver’s hands off the wheel, but still paying attention, the car accelerates cautiously into the intersection.
The car reaches 9km/hr before having to re-apply the brakes to yield to an approaching white van. It looks like the driver was pretty close to taking over, but let it play out and it definitely managed to stop with plenty of margin.
With the van, and then a subsequent grey sedan turning across its path, the car then continues and successfully negotiates the turn safely.
I’ve watched the clip back a few times now and noticed some tidbits about the technology. Firstly, as the car approaches the stop, it’s turning left, beside a series of cars and appears to cross the middle white line to make room, a sophisticated move, but we’d need to see more footage of their latest build to know how it’d respond if another car was approaching in the adjacent lane.
When the car stopped for the white fan, it appeared to have the right steering angle to make the trajectory of the turn, but while stopped, rotated back to a straight position, then when it was clear to go, rotated back to the original position. This shows there’s still some work to do in path planning as the car should not have tried to turn the wheel once stopped unless had to abort the turn and re-route straight through the intersection.
Once the car began moving through the turn, it looks smooth and very comfortable. On the exit of the turn, the right front appears a lot closer to the gutter than the left is from the center white line, this suggests there’s still some positioning refinement to do, but didn’t appear to be on its way to scratching the rims.
Overall the interior of the Zeekr 001 looks like a nice place to live with a large central touchscreen, ready for entertainment, should the software reach the objective of Level 4 autonomy.
This Level 4 autonomy is aimed to enable the vehicle to drive itself in most situations, with the driver only needing to take over in certain circumstances.
The car features Mobileye’s EyeQ5 chip and will use Mobileye REM mapping technology, which will allow the vehicle to learn the environment around it and make decisions about how to navigate safely.
Check out the video yourself and let us know in the comments, or on Twitter what you think.
Chuck Cook is one of the early FSD Beta Testers who rose to notoriety for his diligent tests of Unprotected Left Turns.
For many versions now, Cook has run repeated tests of a UPL in his local area that is complex, requiring the car to stop in a small space between islands, while cars pass by at high speed. The car needs to calculate a safe space to make the turn and at times, pause in the centre of the traffic, before completing the turn.
Over a number of builds, Tesla has iterated their way to get this to work really well, with the latest video from Cook, showcasing the latest and greatest FSDBeta 11.4.2.
You can watch the video below and compare it to Mobileye’s above and judge for yourself which software is more advanced in May 2023.