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ST, Mobileye test driver assistance

Posted: 09 May 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:SoC  driver assistance  lane-departure warning 

STMicroelectronics NV and Mobileye NV have announced the testing of the EyeQ2 SoC for vision-based driver assistance in automobiles to increase safety on congested roads.

According to a 2006 Autosafe research, casualties on the roads of USA, Europe and Japan have totalled 94,000, prompting the launch of regional programmes to reduce this to 63,000 by 2010. It has been shown that if drivers reacted half a second earlier, they would avoid approximately half of all accidents. In Europe, one third of accidents are due to lane changing or leaving the road while two thirds are due to lack of attention.

First generation
The first generation of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, implemented on EyeQ1, are already in production at several carmakers and offer functionality such as lane-departure warning (LDW), adaptive headlight control, traffic-sign recognition, collision avoidance through radar/camera fusion and forward collision warning that can drastically reduce the number of accidents. The LDW is akin to a 'virtual rumble strip' that alerts drivers when they cross lane markings—a common factor in many head-on collisions and other serious accidents.

"By using an audible warning upon an unintentional deviation from the driving lane, these lane-departure warning systems create an intelligent rumble strip imitation that alerts the driver even when there are no physical strips on the shoulder of the road," explained Mobileye Chairman Amnon Shashua.

As a significant portion of run-off-road crashes are attributed to driving while drowsy, to the point of falling asleep at the wheel, Mobileye's lane-detection technologies can play an instrumental role in reducing accidents and fatalities for multi-tasking motorists who also log long hours.

The new generation ADAS being sampled now takes this active safety concept to a new level through EyeQ2's six-fold increase in processing power. It takes input from two high-resolution image sensors and has video-output capabilities that include graphic overlay.

Protecting pedestrians
Pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users and in the EU alone and it is estimated that there are 9,000 fatalities and 200,000 injuries from road accidents involving cars colliding with pedestrians or cyclists. Pedestrian detection is in development with a major European OEM and is slated for production on EyeQ2 bundled together with additional features including LDW and collision-mitigation functions.

"The detection capabilities of the EyeQ2, even in difficult environmental conditions, allow for both notification and for crash mitigation, increasing safety for road users dramatically," said Marco Monti, VP of STMicroelectronics' Automotive Product Group. "By combining ST's automotive design and manufacturing expertise with Mobileye's strength in video-based driver-assist systems we provide an optimal solution for innovative, automotive-market proven, and cost-competitive solutions for the automotive market."

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