What you'll learn:
- What is an intelligent-speed-assistance system?
- Details about Mobileye's new ISA all-camera system.
- Technologies to upgrade traffic-sign recognition.
Of the close to 23,000 fatalities in 2019 on EU roads, it’s estimated that 10% to 15% of all crashes and 30% of all fatal crashes were the direct result of speeding. [Source: report from EC Service Contract MOVE/C2/SER/2019-100/SI2.822066 with Vias institute (BE) and SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research (NL).] Technical solutions assisting drivers in reducing driving speed thus should have a profound impact on accident outcome and reduction of injury levels.
Regulation (EU) 2019/2144 of the European Parliament mandates motor vehicles to be equipped with intelligent-speed-assistance (ISA) systems from July 7, 2024, for all new models.
As of that date, passenger vehicles sold in the EU must meet specific requirements such as being able to detect static and dynamic message speed-limit signage across hundreds of signs, with thousands of country-specific variants, and in harsh weather and adverse lighting conditions. The vehicles must also understand temporary speed limits for construction, accidents, or other issues, often given by digital signage, and implicit speed limits such as when at a city entrance.
According to the European Road Safety Observatory, the new regulations could reduce collisions by as much as 30% and fatalities by up to 20%. Under the new regulation, all systems will be required to let drivers know what speed limits are in effect either actively, in which a vehicle automatically slows down gently toward a posted limit, or passively, in which the ISA system alerts drivers when they exceed posted limits.
First Vision-Only ISA
Following testing and certification across Europe, Intel’s Mobileye has introduced what’s claimed to be the world’s first vision-only ISA solution for automakers.
ISA is a system that prompts and encourages drivers to slow down when they’re over the speed limit. It works with the driver as an assisting function, through the accelerator control, or through other dedicated and appropriate feedback, while the driver is always in full control of the driving speed of the vehicle. It’s an effective safety measure because even a slightly reduced driving speed has a significant beneficial effect on accident avoidance or mitigation of the accident outcome.
The Mobileye ISA system is expected to be integrated by a major global auto group into two vehicle brands for models going on sale in Europe later this year. Three other global automakers will follow close behind in 2024 and beyond.
Mobileye ISA uses a speed-sign-recognition video camera system to advise drivers of the current speed limit and automatically limit the speed of the vehicle as needed. ISA systems don’t automatically apply the brakes, but simply limit engine power, preventing the vehicle from accelerating past the current speed limit unless overridden.
The camera-only solution helps global automakers meet the new European Union (EU) General Safety Regulation (GSR) standards without the need to rely on third-party map and GPS data.
The technology is also helped by the increasing use of hardware on vehicles, such as GPS, front-facing cameras, and manual speed-limiting systems. With this hardware already used by other systems on the vehicle, ISA becomes a simple matter of adding additional software.
The new software, designed for Mobileye’s EyeQ platform, has been certified for use in all 27 EU countries as well as Israel, Norway, Switzerland, and Turkey. The EyeQ4- and EyeQ6-based ISA systems allow OEMs whose vehicles already integrate these chips to meet the new standards merely by updating the EyeQ’s existing software, without any new hardware requirements.
“This is a major accomplishment for Mobileye, because we’ve proven to the industry not only that achieving GSR-compatible vision-only ISA is possible, but also that it performs better than traditional map-based solutions,” said Dr. Gaby Hayon, Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Mobileye.
“Mobileye’s 400-petabyte database of driving footage, gathered from around the world, enables us to rapidly meet the growing requirements of automotive safety regulators with new software designed for our existing driver-assist platforms,” added Hayon. “After successfully surpassing GSR ISA standards during stringent testing, we look forward to collaborating with automakers to implement this lifesaving technology in Europe and beyond.”
The solution, resulting from more than two years of work, is said to be the industry’s first of its kind. Current alternatives rely on a combination of cameras and low-resolution maps to meet the EU standards, a solution that typically brings higher cost and complexity, especially in terms of integration efforts.
Enhanced Traffic-Sign Recognition
Mobileye developed several technologies that upgraded the legacy traffic-sign recognition technology to meet GSR requirements, including:
- Traffic sign relevancy technology that identifies whether a speed sign is relevant to a specific lane.
- Signature-based classification that loads the “signature” of a new traffic sign to the vehicle, even for new signs that were introduced after the vehicle’s manufacture.
- Optical character recognition (OCR)-based city entrance identification for European-style signs.
- Advanced search engines that allow for finding examples of rare signs in Mobileye’s clips database and integrate them into the system.
- A road-type classifier that can work out the right speed, even when traffic signs are missing, by using different cues in the scene to detect the road type.
According to Mobileye, six independent labs across five different European countries have tested and confirmed that its ISA software meets or exceeds the EU's required standards, with additional testing and certification underway. In the future, Mobileye said it will continue advancing the system to ensure new sign recognition over the next 14 years per GSR certification requirements.
The Mobileye ISA products are expected to go into production from Q4 2023.