Before we go any further, let’s get this out of the way right up front – nothing is ever going to stop cars from running into things. Until drivers are taken out of the equation completely, accidents will always happen. Nonetheless, Dutch tech company Mobileye has declared that with the release of its new C2-270 collision warning system, “an end to motor vehicle collisions [is] now in sight.” This system warns drivers of dangerously-close cars, alerts them when drifting out of their lane and includes a Pedestrian Collision Warning component.
The Mobileye C2-270 system consists of a windshield-mounted 640 x 480 CMOS camera, connected to a dash-mounted display unit. The camera monitors the road in front of the vehicle when the car is in motion, and detects imminent forward collisions via its EyeQ2 algorithmic system-on-a-chip (EyeQ2 has been in use in vehicles from BMW, GM, Volvo and Nissan since 2007). The driver is alerted through flashing color-coded icons and an audible alarm, and has up to 2.7 seconds in which to respond – the system itself doesn’t apply the brakes, or steer the car out of harm’s way.
Unlike its C2-170 predecessor, the 270 will apparently give drivers a heads-up when they’re on a collision course with a pedestrian, a cyclist or a motorcyclist. Like the 170, it also warns drivers of unintended lane departures, and of insufficient distance-keeping. Optional extras include a black box event recording system, vehicle tracking via integrated GPS, and a fleet management application.
With technology like this, of course, there’s always the worry that users will pay less attention because they assume the machine can now do it for them. It’s not unlike a recent study which suggests that ultra-efficient LED bulbs won’t actually save much in the way of electricity, due to the fact that people using them will be less concerned about their personal energy usage. It definitely bears consideration, although we hope such systems will result in less accidents overall, because that’s always a good thing.