Mobileye (MBLY) Responds to Allegations, Says Tesla (TSLA) Statements are Incorrect

September 16, 2016 9:39 AM EDT

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Mobileye (NYSE: MBLY) said in response to inquiries received this morning, the company notes that the allegations recently attributed to a spokesperson for Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) regarding Mobileye's position in respect of Tesla internal computer visions efforts are incorrect and can be refuted by the facts.

It has long been Mobileye's position that Tesla's Autopilot should not be allowed to operate hands-free without proper and substantial technological restrictions and limitations. In communications dating back to May 2015 between the Mobileye Chairman and Tesla’s CEO, Mobileye expressed safety concerns regarding the use of Autopilot hands-free. After a subsequent face to face meeting, Tesla’s CEO confirmed that activation of Autopilot would be “hands on.” Despite this confirmation, Autopilot was rolled out in late 2015 with a hands-free activation mode. Mobileye has made substantial efforts since then to take more control on how this project can be steered to a proper functional safety system.

Tesla’s response to the May 7 crash, wherein the company shifted blame to the camera, and later corrected and shifted blame to the radar, indicated to Mobileye that Mobileye’s relationship with Tesla could not continue. Failing agreement on necessary changes in the relationship, Mobileye terminated its association with Tesla. As for Tesla’s claim that Mobileye was threatened by Tesla’s internal computer vision efforts, the company has little knowledge of these efforts other than an awareness that Tesla had put together a small team.

In any event, it is Mobileye’s policy not to respond to rumors or other spurious claims in the press. Mobileye has commented fully on its relationship with Tesla and will not provide further comment. Mobileye’s deeply held view is that the long-term potential for vehicle automation to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities significantly is too important to risk consumer and regulatory confusion or to create an environment of mistrust that puts in jeopardy technological advances that can save lives.



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