SAN FRANCISCO, April 17 (Reuters) - Israeli automotive tech company Mobileye said on Wednesday it had secured orders to ship 46 million of its EyeQ6 Lite assisted-driving chips over the next few years as automakers race to make cars safer and easier to drive.

Mobileye is selling the EyeQ6 Lite in all major markets around the world, and cars with the technology will be launched in the middle of this year, according to Mobileye's Nimrod Nehushtan, executive vice president of business strategy and development.

"The 46 million represents the amount of EyeQ6 Lite that we have won to date," Nehushtan said in an interview with Reuters. "So it will grow, and it will be rolled out over the course of the next few years."

Mobileye did not disclose the names of the customers for EyeQ6 because it was bound by non-disclosure agreements. The company counts Volkswagen and Porsche among its customers.

The company's shares rose more than 6% in early trading on Wednesday.

The EyeQ6 Lite system is Mobileye's mass-market product for vehicles with some assisted driving features, such as automated cruise control and lane-changing, but not designed to power ones with higher levels of automation that allow drivers to take their hands off the wheel and eyes off the road.

Launching fully self-driving vehicles, such as robotaxis, or ones that require minimal human intervention, has been tougher than expected with steep investments, high safety risks and strict regulations.

But in an effort to differentiate themselves amid rising competition, automakers have been adding an array of more basic driver-assistance features.

The EyeQ6 Lite, for example, is capable of reading text phrases on road signage, like a speed limit that is only active on weekday mornings, or a city entrance sign that implies a lower speed limit.

The chip offers 4.5 times more computing horsepower compared with its prior generation and is manufactured with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co's 7-nanometer process.

"It can support all five star ratings globally, but be extremely power efficient and cost efficient," Nehushtan said. "That's kind of the mission statement of this chip."

The sensors on EyeQ6L include an 8-megapixel camera that is capable of a 120-degree lateral field of vision that can detect environmental conditions and objects at a greater distance.

The company said its more advanced assisted-driving chip, the EyeQ6 High, is set to enter volume production "early next year."

Mobileye is set to report first-quarter results on April 25. (Reporting by Max A. Cherney and Abhirup Roy in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler)