There are five generally accepted levels of autonomous vehicles, where zero means no autonomy. ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) systems belong to the first two levels, and levels 3, 4, and 5 mean different degrees of autonomy - from supporting autonomy only under certain conditions to complete autonomy that does not require human intervention.
Electric cars equipped with Tier 1 and Tier 2 systems can be purchased today, while cars with higher tier systems are still in development. We know that it is technically possible to create fully self-driving electric cars. But the biggest challenge is getting them out of the labs' test sites onto public roads, and this will require answering more complex questions, such as safety guarantees or public acceptance of such vehicles. To this end, we are developing innovations in the field of other equally complex technologies necessary for the development of unmanned vehicles, for example, mapping and security technologies. This layer of technology we are developing for autonomous vehicles will take ADAS systems to the next level.
At Mobileye developed Road Experience Management technology that collaboratively, crowdsourced, creates the maps needed for autonomous transportation — we call these maps the Global Roadbook Atlas. Today Mobileye uses these maps to improve the accuracy of ADAS systems. An example is Volkswagen Group's ongoing work on the L2 + ADAS system, which integrates the front camera with Roadbook ™ technologies and uses the previously announced data acquisition resource.
Mobileye has also developed a technologically neutral approach using the Responsibility-Sensitive Safety (RSS) mathematical model to enable safer decisions in autonomous driving systems. The model is gaining more acceptance today, with industry players and governments announcing plans to implement RSS in their autonomous driving programs and projects and helping us develop the industry standard for self-driving vehicle safety. For example, the China ITS Alliance, a standardization arm of the Chinese Ministry of Transport, has approved a proposal to use the RSS model as the basis for its future self-driving vehicle safety standard;
Today we are again turning to RSS technology and suggesting its use in ADAS solutions as an active addition to automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems. We call this hybrid automatic preventative braking (APB). Using formulas to determine when a vehicle is in a hazardous situation, APB will help the vehicle return to a safer position by using light, subtle braking instead of hard braking to prevent a collision.
If APB systems were installed in every car and equipped with an affordable front camera, in our opinion, this would prevent a significant part of collisions with the vehicle in front arising from poor decisions. And if we add a panoramic view with additional cameras to this solution, as well as map support so that preventive braking can be applied in other situations, we expect that this will prevent almost all collisions of this nature.
In our view, preventive technologies such as APB allow the full implementation of the Vision Zero concept, and we hope that the widespread adoption of such technologies will reduce to zero fatalities and injuries in road accidents arising from poor decision making. This technology will stand out from the rest of the tools in the overall global Vision Zero suite, as it will be housed in the vehicle and not in the surrounding infrastructure. Instead of placing special obstacles in the way of vehicles - "speed bumps" or barriers to reduce speed, APB will actively adjust the vehicle speed to ensure safety, and only if necessary, thus increasing safety, not in damage to the speed of traffic.
Autonomous electric cars and more.
In addition to the side effects of autonomous driving technology for ADAS systems, we are discovering fundamentally new applications and revenue streams that go beyond cars.
An example of such a project is our partnership with the Ordinance Survey, one of the most modern mapping agencies in the world. By equipping utility fleets with our Mobileye 8 Connect system, we can simultaneously create a detailed UK self-driving car map and offer our data services to those same companies. Just imagine that instead of months of bureaucratic red tape, using outdated and inaccurate information for drilling, companies can instantly use our data from REM and easily link underground utilities to the corresponding landmarks on the surface. This example demonstrates the huge potential for new applications of this technology that we are developing for unmanned vehicles.
Autonomous driving technologies - a collective project
It will take some time before autonomous cars start helping to save lives. Meanwhile, ADAS technology is gaining increasing acceptance from the world's leading security assessment agencies, which recognize the significant potential of active camera-based security systems. In 2018, 16 vehicle models received a five-star rating from EuroNCAP, with 12 of them equipped with Mobileye collision avoidance technology.
Much of this technology is intended for use in future self-driving car systems; these technologies will form the basis of our autonomous Mobility-as-a-Service projects, including in China with the Beijing Bus and in Israel as part of the Volkswagen Group / Champion Motors / Mobileye partnership program.
Today's autonomous driving technology makes roadways safer!