Stillman and Friedland always have an eye out for the latest road safety developments, to help prevent road accidents. This week’s big news is the acquisition by Intel of Israeli firm Mobileye, the latest and largest buyout of Israeli hi-tech by a major American firm. In addition, Intel will be moving its automotive division to Israel to further develop vehicle safety systems and driverless technology.
One current commercially-available Mobileye system is a combination product which is an add-on to your car. Powerhouse research and development have yielded technology which uses both alerts and automatic overrides to improve road safety. This product is an initial step in autonomous navigation; the Mobileye acts as a co-pilot to the driver, pointing out dangers on the road.
Mobileye has been marketed in Israel as a product which helps seniors drive better, especially those with limited focus and poor night vision. However, it has multiple features which help all drivers, especially these days when distracted driving has become a major cause of accidents, injury and fatalities. Mobileye is a great tool to prevent collisions. The dash-mounted unit alerts the driver with both visual and audio warnings when:
• You are too close to the car in front of you
• You have exceeded the speed limit (the system actually reads speed limit signs on the road)
• You have drifted out of your lane without signaling a lane change
• Pedestrians bicycles, or motorcycles are in your path
• Also, your high-beam headlights are dimmed automatically when cars approach in the oncoming lane.
Obviously, the capability of Mobileye to “read the road” is essential to hands-free, self-driving car technology. Another feature is the capability to utilize crowdsourced data, similar to Waze traffic information. Combining camera feeds with real-time road conditions data means the system has both reactive and anticipatory capabilities. The self-driving option will be available as factory-installed feature, and auto manufacturers are already working with Mobileye.
Here is what that looks like on the road as Mobileye’s co-founder and CTO sits in the driver’s seat with his hands off the wheel and his eyes off the road as the car goes down the highway.
It looks a bit scary, but we will get used to it, as more and more of these cars will be in use in the next two-to-three years. In the end, removing the human error from driving can make us all safer, and reduce the rate of accidents. Readers of this blog will appreciate that this technology will reduce potentially lethal car and trucks accidents. In fact, we hope the biggest initial use will be by commercial and trucking firms.
Looking ahead for you, Stillman and Friedland wish you safe journeys, wherever you go—no matter who or what is doing the driving.