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Mobileye’s latest car tech reads road signs to better pester you about speed

Mobileye’s latest car tech reads road signs to better pester you about speed


The Intel-owned autonomous vehicle developer has a simple solution to help drivers follow speed limits.

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first person view on a road with a sign that has computer boxes drawn around it showing the system is reading it.
Mobileye’s system can detect illustrated signs as well as regular speed limit signs.
Image: Mobileye

Driverless car tech developer Mobileye has a new vision-only system designed for one job: figure out the proper speed limit. The company’s new product is a type of Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA) solution that not only automatically reads numbers on speed signs but can also decipher illustrated signs like ones that show children at play — communicating proper speed adjustments to vehicles accordingly.

Mobileye’s new ISA system is certified by 27 EU countries, plus Israel, Norway, Switzerland, and Turkey. It comes as the EU is launching new General Safety Regulation (GSR) standards that call for all new vehicles to include live speed limit sensors.

Many cars on the road today can tell you the current speed limit on your instrument cluster using GPS location and data available to the vehicle. Slightly more advanced vehicles can use a camera to read speed limit signs and even adjust cruise control speed automatically to match.

Then there are more advanced computer systems, including ones from Mobileye and Tesla, that are designed to make vehicles driverless. Tesla originally used Mobileye chips for its Autopilot system but severed ties with the company after a fatal accident where Tesla claims Mobileye’s technology was unable to distinguish between a laterally crossing truck and the sky behind it. While those technologies already include speed limit sign reading and active response systems, they’re too costly to cram into most vehicles on the road today.

Mobileye’s new ISA system, while based on its advanced EyeQ platform, is a set of software specialized for making speed decisions. It can be installed by automakers that already use some of the company’s chips in its vehicles, including the EyeQ4 and EyeQ6.

The ISA tech can decide if some road signs are relevant to speed, detect sign signatures from current and future signs, read text on signs indicating city entrances, and make decisions based on road type, even without signs.

Mobileye claims it has 400 petabytes of driving footage data recorded worldwide that helped create this ISA. The company says traditional map-based systems used today aren’t as effective or affordable as its new vision-only system.

Mobileye says the new ISA system will be integrated by “a major global auto group into two vehicle brands” and will be in available in some models later this year in Europe. It’s also slated for release on vehicles from three other automakers starting in 2024.

Meanwhile, Mobileye’s Level 4 autonomous system is being tested in Austin by Volkswagen with its ID Buzz electric vans.