FRANKFURT AM MAIN, Germany and JERUSALEM, Israel, -- /PRNewswire/ -- The new BMW 7 Series offers a new advanced driver assistance system developed by BMW and Continental. Now, for the first time three driver assistance functions are controlled by a single camera powered by a system-on-chip EyeQ1 processing unit. The combined technologies - speed limit information (SLI), high beam assist (HBA) and lane departure warning (LDW) were engineered with BMW through a partnership between the international automotive supplier Continental and Mobileye N.V., world leaders in the development of vision-based driver assistance systems.
The two companies have collaborated over the past few years in the development of the combined system on a world-wide range of weather conditions, road types and lane markings. The system consists of a highly dynamic range digital CMOS camera developed and produced by Continental and a high performance chip EyeQ1 provided by Mobileye. The EyeQ1 is a system-on-chip designed to cater the type of computation one faces in such intensive visual interpretation tasks. After years of intensive engineering and continues testing the system design of Continental has been released successfully and is now being ready to market.
The SLI functionality provides an innovative solution which is the first of its kind on the market for this type of demand. The application informs the driver with the accurate speed-limit for all type of speed-limit signs (fixed, variable and also supplemental signs) and informs the driver of any impending speed restriction. The current speed limit is then displayed in the instrument cluster and the optional Head-Up Display. This is the first time a production car has been offered with a speed warning system that can read road signs. Furthermore, the camera scans the field of view for oncoming headlamps and taillights and the system automatically switches between low and high beams. It makes certain that high beams do not blind other road users. At the same time, the system enables the driver to concentrate more on the task of driving.
The HBA functionality makes a significant contribution to ensuring the high-beams are used more frequently. Studies have shown that in many cases the high beam are very rarely used and thus not provid-ing the driver with optimum lighting.
The LDW capabilities are based on the proven technology already launched in March 2007 in the BMW 5 Series with additional sensing functionalities such as "road edge detection".
"Always one step ahead, BMW together with Continental and Mobileye is first to leap ahead and go to market with a multi-functional Camera in the area of driver assistance," stated Amrei Drechsler, Vice President Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, Continental Chassis & Safety division.
"What is special about the BMW solution is that it runs the three functions SLI, HBA and LDW, all using the same camera and microprocessor resources," says Itay Gat, Ph.D., series production vice president of Mobileye N.V. "The technical challenge is very high compared to a standalone system, because the requirements from the camera control are conflicting: the combined system must run at a higher frame rate than a standalone system and must share images among the different customer functions. The combined system has the advantage of reducing the overall system cost and saving windshield space. Rather than populating the windshield area with multiple sensing systems, the integrative approach allows a single sensor system to perform all the functions and hence reduce space and cost."
The combined functionalities will help motorists stay safe in diverse driving situations. LDW proven capabilities will assist in reducing vehicle departure from the road, while the intelligent High Beam Assist will make sure that visibility of the road will be optimal under all conditions. Together with providing the new speed limit indication will further assist the driver.
With targeted annual sales of more than EUR26.4 billion for 2008, Continental Corp. is one of the top automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for the powertrain and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, the corporation contributes towards enhanced driving safety and protection of the global climate. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication. Today, the corporation employs approximately 150,000 people at nearly 200 locations in 36 countries.
As a worldwide leading technology and systems partner to the automotive industry, the Chassis & Safety Division of Continental AG integrates extensive know-how and leading-edge quality in the fields of active and passive driving safety, safety and chassis sensorics, and chassis components. The Division achieves sales of more than EUR 5 billion (based on 2006 figures) with a workforce of more than 27,500 (2007). Chassis & Safety develops and produces electronic and hydraulic brake and chassis control systems, sensors, driver assistance systems, air bag control systems, occupant classification systems, washer systems as well as electronic air suspension systems.
Mobileye N.V. is headquartered in The Netherlands, with R&D in Israel and satellite offices in the U.S., Cyprus and Japan. Mobileye is a technological leader in the area of advanced image sensing and processing technology for automotive applications, with a product offering covering the entire range of vision applications Mobileye s unique monocular vision platform works as a third eye to help drivers improve safety and avoid accidents, and has the potential to revolutionize the way we drive. Mobileye's products of software algorithms bundled into the EyeQ system-on-chip can be found in BMW, GM and Volvo models since 2007.