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Carmakers, suppliers teaming up to develop self-driving systems

LAS VEGAS Automotive suppliers and vehicle manufacturers are expanding alliances to develop self-driving car technology that can serve many manufacturers.

This comes as the race to put such vehicles on the road separates companies that can go it alone from those that need help sharing the financial and technical burdens.

While some companies, such as Tesla Motors, General Motors and Ford Motor, are trying to develop proprietary driverless systems, a larger group of manufacturers appears to have decided it makes more sense to develop self-driving technology in collaboration with suppliers - as many other features such as anti-lock brakes or radar-enabled cruise control already are.

Several suppliers - notably Mobileye, Nvidia and Delphi Automotive - are among the more popular technology partners in the self-driving race.

"If you want to build a truly autonomous car, this is a task for more than one player," said Mr Amnon Shashua, chief executive of Mobileye, an Israeli-based supplier of mapping and vision-based sensing systems.

"The technological challenges are immense," he told Reuters. "I would compare it to sending a man to the moon."

Mobileye supplies cameras, chips and software for driver assist systems - the building blocks for self-driving cars - to more than two dozen manufacturers around the globe.

Chipmaker Nvidia is also ramping up its partnerships in self-driving technology and systems, this week announcing deals with Audi and Here, as well as German suppliers ZF and Bosch. - REUTERS

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