Mobileye

Mobileye

Mobileye

0 comments 📅03 December 2014, 00:52

I think everyone would like to receive a warning from the car about a collision or a possibility of hitting a pedestrian. It would also be nice if the car automatically knew when and how to use lights. Such functions are part of Mobileye – a solution which I recently had the opportunity to test. The system assists the driver in terms of safety and optimization of driving and, what is most important, can be installed in any car.

Performance

Let’s start from the end. After a month of driving with Mobileye I switched to another car. I have to admit that I quickly got used to my “virtual assistant” and sometimes I miss those extra eyes. To some it may seem that Mobileye does the thinking instead of the driver, which I think is completely untrue. At the beginning the device corrects the driving style by “prodding” the driver. Later, it allows for the good habits to crystalize. Additionally, during an emergency it can assist the driver in avoiding a collision or accident.

Installation.

First: camera under the mirror – in my case almost invisible to the driver and the passenger. Cables: as recommended by the manual the power and data transmission cables are nicely hidden under the headliner.

Second: connection to the CAN bus. Mobileye has access to the following car parameters:

  • Instance of pressing the brake.
  • High beam headlights
  • Instance of turning the indicators
  • Windshield wipers

Third: device for communicating with the user – small display mounted on the dashboard. In my case obsolete, as I use the smartphone application or Parrot Asteroid Smart multimedia station which works supports Android. All mobile devices communicate via Bluetooth.

Fourth: calibration – the most important step of the installation – correct execution guarantees proper operation later on. After connecting the device to the car, the installer collects data about the position of the device with regard to the car: distance to the edges of the car body and height in relation to the road. identification of the car model also constitutes important part of the installation procedure.

Not so bad.

Once Mobileye is installed I need to go through a short tutorial. The representative of the manufacturer warned me that it will not be easy. At the beginning, for the first two weeks and especially when driving in the city, the device will be quite active. Fortunately, the real performance was not so bad. When the traffic was low, I actually forgot about the device.

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Let’s hit the road!

First drive in the city with Mobileye on board. I expect the worst. I try to drive smoothly and keep sensible distance to the cars in front of me. Taking into consideration the reality of Warsaw, it proves quite difficult. A gap between moving vehicles is an open invitation for the hurrying drivers to cut in. Fortunately this problem does not exist during morning rush hours when the gap shrinks to a minimum. The device precisely calculates the distance taking into account my speed and the speed of the car ahead. It is worth mentioning that slow driving does not generate alarms. In such situations the automatic bumper function comes in handy, especially for those cars which are not equipped in parking sensors in front. One important notice: the device only identifies cars. It will not work as a sensor in case of other static obstacles. Now more on city traffic. Every day there are situations when drivers in front of us suddenly change their mind and hit the brake. Mobileye stays vigilant. It will force you to take your eyes off the radio or your mobile and allow you to avoid a collision. Moreover, it works well when other drivers don’t use indicators and change lanes so rapidly that you can almost touch their car. Next, pedestrians. This was my biggest challenge. How to verify if Mobileye can detect an imminent collision with a pedestrian? Ask for volunteers…? As it often happens in life, the situation resolved itself naturally.

On the 24th of December at 9:00 a.m. a self-appointed not-so-sober “tester” came in front of my car. The initial distance was safe until the pedestrian decided to tie his shoelace. I did not expect such event to happen on the middle lane of a triple lane road in the city centre. Fortunately Mobileye proved vigilant again. Test passed, pedestrian saved, driver’s pressure back to normal. It’s a pity that the function is not available after dark.

Dangerous headway

Lane departure warning – very simple to verify – speed above 55 km/h and manoeuvring without indicators. The system works on asphalt roads even if the quality of paint is not so great. It does not matter if the road is wet, or if it is day or night. The performance is a little worse when driving on block paving in the rain and when the paint is not clear. On the other hand, the truth is that roads of this kind usually don’t have lanes at all. To sum up, the function is quite useful, especially on long motorway hauls when driving gets monotonous. Too many notifications may mean that it is good time to take a break.

Recognition of speed limit signs. The most controversial element. Thanks to this function I discovered speed limits in my area which I had no idea existed! The system perfectly detects speed limit signs, cancellations, expressways and motorways. Breaking the speed limit results in a much quieter alert sound than when the system warns about danger.

Automatic high beam. I was a little distrustful about this trial. First a remote road outside the city. Night, dark and no street lamps. High beams immediately turn on. The system works. What if the conditions change? I ask another driver for help. The same empty road. I approach the vehicle ahead. In the distance I see his rear tail lights. The system engages again and turns dipped headlights on. Time to check how the system is going to handle incoming traffic. Dark, empty road, high beam on. In the distance I see the headlights of an approaching vehicle. Half a second and my high beam is turned off. So far in “laboratory” conditions everything works fine. Trust level goes up. Time for another road test under normal traffic. The system works without problems. Mobileye reacts to the lights of other cars (both headlights and taillights), street lamps and bright lots. It must be remembered, however, that the system does not recognise pedestrians after dark and we will have to switch high beams off manually. It is also worth noting that the driver has manual control over the lights all the time.

Drive_Mobileye

Does Mobileye really improve my safety? Statistics supplied by the producer say that the insurance claims among users decrease by almost 45%. What else? Fuel consumption is down 12%. Probably the cost of maintenance and service of expendables (discs and pads, tyres, etc.) go down as well. Why? The driver who follows the recommendations of the system starts driving economically and defensively. Thanks to the statistics available in the mobile application drivers can check their performance and see progress. For private users such knowledge is entirely sufficient.

Stats_Mobileye

What about car fleets? There is an option to integrate Mobileye with telemetrics installed in company cars. The supplier of Mobileye can prepare additional reports showing route visualisation and the driving style of a car user. This data shows real situations on the road, as opposed to standard statistics about car parameters.

For whom?

Basically for everyone. Even experienced drivers have moments when their attention wanders off. Mobileye can help young inexperienced drivers learn good practice on the road. Professional drivers and car fleet managers can have access to a tool which enables them to monitor their own skills and the skills of their drivers. What should naturally follow is a joint offer with car insurance products.

Lastly, let’s admit it… it’s easier to accept the criticism from a machine than from the passenger…!

Market data

The cost of Mobileye for private users is approx. EUR 750 gross plus installation (EUR 100). Car fleets can expect substantial discounts.

An interesting proposition was prepared by GENERALI in Poland. Starting from January 2014 they are offering up to 30% off on car insurance for the users of the system. The offer is calculated in such way as to offset the cost of investment in Mobileye within three years, not counting the extra savings generated by using the system.

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