STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a leader in the design and manufacture of automotive ICs, and Mobileye N.V., the leading provider of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to the automotive industry, announced that the two companies have successfully sampled the second generation of their system-on-chip EyeQ2 for the vision-based driver assistance segment of the automotive market.
The implementation of this type of technology is fundamental for increasing safety on ever more congested roads. According to research (Autosafe 2006) the total number of casualties on the roads of USA, Europe and Japan was 94,000 and regional programs are being launched 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, and overall two thirds are due to lack of attention.
The first generation of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, implemented on EyeQ1, are already in production at several car makers 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 Amnon Shashua, Ph.D., Chairman of Mobileye N.V. and the Sachs professor of computer science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.
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. By increasing the processing power six fold, the EyeQ2 introduces added functionality, such as pedestrian detection and well as the previously mentioned lane-departure warning (LDW), adaptive headlight control, traffic-sign recognition, collision avoidance and forward collision warning on one vision processor. The EyeQ2 takes input from two high-resolution image sensors and has video-output capabilities that include graphic overlay.
Pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users and in the EU alone, 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, Vice President 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.”
Mobileye N.V. is a pioneer in the development of vision systems for intelligent transportation and is recognized as the world leader in vision-based Driver Assistance Systems (DAS). Mobileye has been selected as the vision engine supplier by the leading automotive companies worldwide such as BMW, GM and Volvo for their production vehicles starting from 2007. Mobileye’s innovative off-the-shelf line of products, the Mobileye AWS[TM] – Advance Warning System, is being distributed and sold around the world, and is the safety solution of choice of a growing community of European, American and Asian trucking fleets. Mobileye N.V. is headquartered in The Netherlands, with a research and development center located in Jerusalem, Israel and sales and marketing offices in Detroit, Michigan; Cyprus and Tokyo, Japan.
STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today’s convergence markets. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2007, the Company’s net revenues were $10.0 billion.