By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Two products at the forefront of the burgeoning driver assist market for the 12-volt aftermarket are from Mobileye and Nav-TV.
Mobileye is shipping an aftermarket driver-assist package that includes a camera that sits on the dashboard and a microprocessor. It can perform three functions, the first of which is forward-collision warning. Drivers get a warning 2.7 seconds before an imminent crash. The second feature is a lane-departure warning, which detects road markings and gives the driver an alert if he begins crossing a lane marking without using his turn signal. The system helps drivers stay awake and keeps them from drifting outside their lane. A third offering is "headway monitoring," which monitors the distance to the car in front. A gauge displays the distance to the nearest car in seconds and issues a warning if the driver gets too close.
All these features are achieved through a camera and advanced algorithms for detecting objects, said Mobileye.
The product, called AWS-4000, can work with any car or truck. It requires about an hour of installation time and carries a suggested retail of $1,245.
"It's a small system with only one camera, a board and a chip, the same chips used by the OEMs," said Ido Amir, marketing manager, noting that Mobileye's system is offered in certain BMW, Cadillac, Buick and Volvo car models.
He claimed Mobileye is the only supplier offering all three features in a single aftermarket package, and said other products would collectively cost over $3,000.
Currently, only one reseller, Hurley's Auto Audio, McLean Va., is selling the AWS-4000, but Mobileye hopes it will be sold through retailers across the nation by the end of the year. The company is now setting up a service organization for product support.
Mobileye offers a fourth service , which sends a text message of the events it detects, including multiple lane departures, to a parent or a fleet manager. The service also provides car tracking over the Internet. These features require an additional $250 device plus service fees expected to fall in the $10 to $15 /month range.
Nav-TV is launching a product that converts a factory navigation screen to a night-vision screen that presents a view of the road four times farther than typical headlights, claimed Nav-TV.
The system includes a night-vision camera that mounts in the front grille. It uses thermal-imaging military technology to detect if there is something in the road. It combines this with a 2x zoom to extend range. The package comes with a camera and cable for $4,425 and then a separate controller for $650. It works with most cars offering factory navigation, said the company.
Nav-TV says its system "sees" the thermal signature, or temperature differences, ahead of it. Warmer objects appear in brighter colors, while colder objects appear darker. This technology has been available to armed forces around the world for years, and only recently became available to the automotive industry at an affordable price, said the spokesman.
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