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Invention: Vision for vehicles to improve road safety
Israeli computer vision expert Amnon Shashua together with his team - Erez Dagan, Yoram Gedalyahu, Gaby Hayon, Elchanan Rushinek, Shai Shalev-Shwartz and Gideon Stein - developed an advanced driver assistance system that uses a single-lens camera and cutting-edge artificial intelligence to spot and avoid traffic hazards in real time. Thanks to this invention, roads worldwide are now safer to drive.
Over one million people die each year in road accidents, according to statistics from the World Health Organization. The accidents are notably caused by drivers drifting out of lanes, rear-end collisions and speeding - all hazards that electronic measures known as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) can detect and prevent. ADAS entered the market using cumbersome and expensive sensors, such as radar emitters and stereoscopic cameras. The cost of this equipment has in the past restricted their use to high-end vehicles.
Amnon Shashua and his team at Mobileye reversed this trend with patented technology that keeps drivers safe using a camera and custom-built computer processor. A single-lensed front-facing camera integrated into the car's windshield scans the road and streams footage to a tailor-made computer processor on board the vehicle, where artificial intelligence software detects road features. Sophisticated algorithms that are built into the hardware compare changes in the relative size and position of nearby objects every 27 milliseconds and calculate their speed and trajectory. The technology uses this data to predict driving hazards in real time and send warnings to the driver or safety commands directly to the vehicle to automatically react. Commercialised by Mobileye, the company Shashua co-founded in Israel in 1999 and which now operates as a subsidiary of Intel, the technology has already been installed in more than 40 million vehicles around the world.
Mobileye debuted in the public markets in 2014 when it listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the largest-ever IPO of an Israeli company in the US. Three years later, Intel acquired the former garage start-up for a record EUR 13.5 billion (USD 15.3 billion). Mobileye has since doubled its workforce and now employs more than 1 000 people. Their technology has also given the company a head start in the rapidly emerging industry of driverless vehicles. This sector saw a 330% increase in the number of European patent applications filed in the past seven years, and the market is expected to be worth up to EUR 62 billion (USD 70 billion) by 2030.
Shashua completed a PhD in brain and cognitive sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since 1996 he has been a faculty member at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he currently serves as Sachs Professor of Computer Science. He has published more than 120 academic papers in the fields of machine learning and computer vision. Currently Shashua serves as Senior Vice President at Intel Corporation, and President and Chief Executive Officer of Mobileye. The team nominated for the European Inventor Award 2019 also includes: Erez Dagan, Yoram Gedalyahu, Gaby Hayon, Elchanan Rushinek, Shai Shalev-Shwartz and Gideon Stein. The technology patented by Shashua and his engineering colleagues has helped turn the company into an industry leader in just two decades. Shashua and his team are committed to developing the technology further with the aim of bringing road casualties down to zero in the future.
Amnon Shashua and the Mobileye team