Consider what it takes for a car to drive down the road without input from a driver: it has to be able to change lanes, stay in the center of its own lane, preferably avoiding crashing into pedestrians or other objects , and it needs to stop at traffic lights.
Artificial vision safety systems like those for which Mobileye is known are essential to the success of automated vehicles. Cameras located on different parts of the car synchronize with the vehicle’s navigation system to automatically perform the various functions that the driver would normally take care of.
In the case of a driverless vehicle that the Israeli company and Tesla are said to be developing together, there will be five cameras – two in front, one in the back, and one on either side of the car, according to TheMarker and Ha’aretz.
Their system, which has already been tested on cars made by Opel, Audi, Toyota and Nissan, will allow vehicles to cross intersections not moderated with traffic lights and switch lanes on busy roads without hitting neighboring cars.
But it won’t allow drivers to tune out and take a nap, says Mobileye Founder Prof. Amnon Shashua.
“This is not automatic driving in which the driver types an address and goes to sleep,” Shashua told TheMarker. “The system allows control to be given to it for a limited period. You can read a text message or change the radio station and give temporary control to the cameras.”
Until now, Tesla’s appearance in the Middle East has been limited – apart from a roadster spotting in Dubai, but this budding partnership suggests that the EV and driverless vehicle market could potentially explode in the region.
It’s also interesting to note that a technology developed in Israel should feature so ubiquitously, but relatively silently, in driverless vehicles produced by multiple automakers.