‘Scaring drivers straight’ with Israeli-made tech

‘Scaring drivers straight’ with Israeli-made tech

Mobileye, maker of vehicle safety system, will work with Accel, maker of a car smartphone, to ensure safer driving

An Accel Voyager integrated with Mobileye data (Photo credit: Courtesy)
An Accel Voyager integrated with Mobileye data (Photo credit: Courtesy)

The Mobileye road safety alert system has help tens of thousands of drivers avoid collisions, alerting drivers through a series of cameras and sensors working in tandem with advanced software when they are too close to the vehicle in front of them.

The company has collected hundreds of testimonials, and even U.S. President Barack Obama has heard of the company; Mobileye was one of the Israeli technologies that he was shown when he asked about Israeli technological achievements on his visit to Israel last February.

But the system is only useful if someone is paying attention – so to make sure that all the relevant parties are aware and informed on what is going on, Israeli company Mobileye has hooked up with Accel, the Israeli maker of the Voyager car smartphone, to relay messages about potentially dangerous road situations to both drivers and those keeping an eye on them.

It’s for that reason the two companies are working together, said Isaac Litman, Mobileye CEO. Although the system is very effective for drivers, warning them when they are getting too close to the vehicle in front of them and giving the extra few seconds they need to slow down, drivers who are driving company or fleet cars might not be as careful, or attentive, as owners.

Teens, too, who are behind the wheel of their parents’ vehicles, might allow themselves to get carried away by “the thrill of the road.” The Accel, besides delivering data from the Mobileye system to the driver, will also relay it to fleet managers, parents, or any other interested third party.

The Accel, introduced in 2013, is a true “car phone” – a mobile device made specifically for drivers, with big, easy to access keys, special noise filtration and cancellation to allow clearer conversations, voice activation for calls and commands, enhanced volume to ensure that drivers can easily hear conversations, and a built-in copy of Waze.

All features are accessible via big buttons and swipe screens, so drivers can easily play music or change Internet radio stations without taking their eyes off the road. Drivers can also get a special data plan for the device (it allows for two SIM cards, so it can be used as a ‘regular’ phone as well).

With the new Mobileye connection, information on “near misses” will be recorded by the phone and can be transmitted back to dispatchers, parents, or even insurance companies. That alone, said Litman, could be a big motivator in encouraging safer driving. “Integrating Mobileye’s Collision Avoidance systems with Voyager is an elegant solution that allows both the driver and a third party to receive Mobileye’s life saving alerts in real time, which is a real need for fleet managers, businesses, families and more,” he said.

Marc Seelenfreund, Accel’s CEO, said that the inclusion of his device in the Mobileye safety universe would enhance the effectiveness even further. “The integrated Voyager-Mobileye solution will add an additional layer of driver safety via remote monitoring of Mobileye alerts. GSMA forecasts the global connected car market to grow threefold within 5 years and will be worth 39 billion Euro in 2018. Adding remote monitoring for Mobileye’s leading Collision Avoidance system via our connected car smartphone will certainly be beneficial for this large scale market.”

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