Driver-assistance tech firm eyes a city to partner with

By Kuan-lin Liu, The China Post

Mobileye is looking for which city in Taiwan wants to be the first to introduce its collision-avoidance system to public vehicles, the Israel-based firm’s sales director told The China Post in an exclusive interview Thursday.

“We can start cooperating straight away in one area — we already have a product which can be used for the benefit of everyone. This product can be installed in any bus, any truck, any car today,” David Oberman said of Mobileye 630. The collision avoidance system, created by the Israeli Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) producer, can detect a four-wheel vehicle’s position in relation on the road as well as nearby cars and pedestrians and warns drivers if they stray too far from their lane or come too close to another object. “It’s a special three-camera system. One camera looks forward and two more cameras are on the back of the bus or the truck to protect pedestrians, bicycles and scooters,” Oberman explained. The system is particularly useful in preventing accidents that take place in congested cities due to the blind spots of drivers behind the wheel of large vehicles.

Mobileye has already been installed onboard public transport vehicles in cities including Buenos Aires, Tokyo, New York and London, and Oberman said his current visit was aimed at putting a Taiwanese city on that list.

“We are talking to many people, to many organizations and companies, and to the government,” he said.

Oberman said he hoped Taipei or Hsinchu City could become local pioneers for the system by becoming the first city in the country to implement it. Saving Cash, Too In addition to potentially saving the lives of drivers and pedestrians, Oberman said, using Mobileye to prevent crashes can save money otherwise spent on repairs, damages and insurance. During the interview, Oberman took out a Mobileye 630 system to point out its three warning signal options.

The first is a more traditional audio warning — essentially just a beeping sound. The second is a visual signal, namely a flashing display. The third is a vibrating warning that can be inserted anywhere in the driver’s seat or steering wheel.

Mobileye, Oberman noted, can also be connected to a fleet management system that lets managers receive warnings in real time to assess the performance of their drivers.

Using the system this way is “teaching the driver to be careful all the time,” he said. Transportation Regulations for the Future According to ADAS Mobile Tech Inc. President Edward Wen (溫峻瑜), who represents Mobileye in Taiwan, the company hoped to take advantage of new vehicle safety regulations set to take effect in coming years. Starting in 2019, the government will require all new vehicles seating nine or more people as well as new commercial trucks 3.5 tons or larger to have a lane departure warning system and automatic breaking.

In 2021, the regulation will be extended to all new cars. Citing what he said was a complete absence of competitors in the local market, Oberman said he was confident Mobileye could capture a nearly total market share. The company is also eyeing China. While there were a few similar products available in China, none were of the same quality as Mobileye, Oberman said.