The Car’s Camera Will Notify Authorities About Problems, Says Israel’s Mobileye CEO
CTech – Amnon Shashua, Mobileye’s co-founder and CEO, sees England’s roads as a training ground for the autonomous vehicle systems Mobileye is developing in collaboration with parent company Intel. Shashua recently spoke to Calcalist in London, where the company demonstrated its new EyeQ4 camera, Mobileye’s fourth-generation system-on-chip, which will track everything a human driver sees, upload it to the cloud, and analyze it.
“The camera will be an intelligent agent that continuously makes lists,” Shashua explained. “Where are the traffic lights, the electric poles, where is the bus station; it will even collect information about manhole covers on the road,” he said.
The information collected can be utilized in many ways, Shashua said. “The camera will know the route is not marked well, and that is information you can sell to the city so it knows what to fix,” he said. “It can count how many people are standing at a bus stop at a given time and alert about peak rush hours; it can detect a location where people cross the road and advise that a crosswalk should be painted there. The camera could even understand that a person observed is being mugged, that an accident is occurring, or that bike or scooter riders are disobeying the law.”
Shashua’s ideas are not hypothetical; during a camera showcase, which included a drive around London’s West Ham area, Mobileye employees demonstrated what a quick, efficient process it is to track and tag road signs. What the human eye perceives as background the camera perceives as valuable data.
In January, Mobileye announced a partnership with Ordnance Survey, the national mapping agency of the UK, to develop high-precision maps of London’s telecommunication networks, and its water, electricity, gas, and sewage infrastructure, following a one-year pilot. The mapping will be used to create a database that is updated 24/7. Another partnership the company has is with Durham, UK-based holding company Northumbrian Water Group, to map the water infrastructure and sewage openings in north and east England.
The extensive data collection the camera conducts brings up questions regarding the privacy of the drivers, but Shashua is quick to quiet concerns. “It will be possible to stop the camera’s actions, but the data collected is innocent. There are no images of the driver or any means of identification, just information that a road sign exists,” he said.
The reporter was a guest of Mobileye in London.