New smart car prevents accidents

2009-10-20 19:43 BJT

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Imagine a car that can stop itself before hitting another vehicle or pedestrian. Well, a device being developed in Israel could transform driving habits forever.

You're out for your morning drive to work. There's little traffic, the roads are clear. All of a sudden you're distracted from your driving, and a pedestrian has crossed right in front of your car. You have no time to break.

But this is no ordinary car.

It is fitted out with a special alert system that warns you when you are driving too close to a pedestrian, or a car. And if you don't react to the warning immediately, the system breaks for you.

Yonatan Samet, Mobileye R&D Project manager, said, "This system actually sees what's going on on the road. It can see where the lane marks are, it can see where the vehicles are, it can see where the pedestrians are, what the pedestrians are about to do. Are they about to cross the road? Are they going to remain on the sidewalk and be safe and protected? This is a system that saves lives."

A digital camera is connected to the system and reads what's happening on the road in front of it. It can differentiate between cars and pedestrians from some 35 meters away. It will sound off as quickly as 2.5 seconds before an impending crash, leaving drivers enough time to react.

The device also recognizes lane marks. It sends a warning beep when the car swerves out of its lane, so a sleepy driver can be instantly woken up.

The technology is already available in vehicles produced by a leading car maker.

When it hits the market next year, the device is likely to cost upwards of $1,000.

Drivers are going to have to ask themselves if saving a life is worth the cost, or if they should just be paying more attention behind the wheel.

Editor: Liu Fang | Source: