I have just fitted a Mobileye system to my daily driver, as part of an ongoing test for the next couple of months. So what’s a Mobileye? It is a box of electro-trickery which looks down the road, with the same point of view as me as I look down the road.
The difference between it and me, is that it has been pre-programmed to warn me of danger situations, such as moving out of my lane without indicating, traveling too close to the vehicle in front of me, and rolling into the car in front while stopped at traffic lights.
All of those scenarios are ones any driver has experienced. Mostly luck keeps you out of trouble, but not always. That is where the Mobileye is better than me. It pre-warns me, not the other way around.
Actually it is very clever the way it is set up, with the distance between me and the car in front given with a continuous read-out with the scale being in seconds, at any particular speed. Obviously if you are traveling at 120 km/h, the time left before you run into the other vehicle is less than a couple of seconds. However, if you are dribbling along at 30 km/h, the time is quite different as you are traveling so slowly.
The Mobileye gives visual and audible warnings with brightness and volume under the control of the driver, as well as the designated “action” distance/time.
The working of the Mobileye is quite complex, with the unit wired into the electronics of the car itself. If approaching another vehicle, but you already have your foot on the brake, the Mobileye “understands” that you have seen the situation and are already driving within the situation. If, however, you are rapidly closing on the vehicle in front and there is no brake input, the Mobileye unit will start to scream loudly to alert you to the potential problem.
I can see that it is a driver aid that one should get to know and adjust to suit your driving style. That I will be doing over the next couple of months and will report back here in this column, so you can follow my progress.