If you’re the President of the United States, a trip to Israel isn’t complete without a tour of the country’s coolest technology. A mysterious robot snake that can mechanically slither through cracks in a wall and the latest technology in assisted driving equipment are part of the Israeli gee-whiz package that President Obama surveyed during this week’s trip to the Middle East.
Of course, a mechanized snake that is indispensable in both military and search and rescue operations is certainly sexier in demonstration than an apparatus that can instantly assume control of your car and prevent an accident. But the Mobileye technology is more than just a driving companion that helps you stay safe on the road. It’s the latest step in the development of the driverless car, in which the car uses advanced sensing mechanisms to operate on city streets without human control.
In the case of the Mobileye driver assistance system, a smart camera is mounted on the windshield, allowing the car to “see” and analyze its surroundings such as road signs, passing cars, and motorcycles. The C2-270 system, the latest in Mobileye’s line can detect pedestrians in its path, unexpected lane departures, and potential collisions, as well as monitor your speed. It also has the ability to perform collision mitigation by temporarily assuming control of the vehicle in certain circumstances.
It’s doubtful that President Obama will need assistance driving technology for his limo any time soon, but luxury cars are already being outfitted with vehicle detection systems and are expected to be available in both North America and Europe this year. Although its adaptive cruise control was only released last year, many features such as its smart-camera system and autonomous braking feature are actually based on technology that was first released on Volvo lines as early as 2007.
And who knows, given that the White House may be soon in the market to replace its limo "the beast," (which was rendered inoperable this week in Israel), perhaps the president will be coming back with a new gizmo for his armored limousine. Mobileye’s sophisticated third-eye driving technology certainly couldn’t hurt.
Image of car courtesy of Mathieu Gasnier.
Jan Lee is a former news editor and award-winning editorial writer whose non-fiction and fiction have been published in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and Australia. Her articles and posts can be found on TriplePundit, JustMeans, and her blog, The Multicultural Jew, as well as other publications. She currently splits her residence between the city of Vancouver, British Columbia and the rural farmlands of Idaho.