Mobileye Broadens Into U.S.

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A new category of driver-assist products for the consumer is from Mobileye, which is in process of building a distribution network after establishing a U.S. headquarters here last year.

The Israeli-based company, which already provides driver-assist products for Volvo, BMW, General Motors and others, is now offering a sub-$1,000 early-warning crash detector through 12-volt retailers. It could be available through thousands of retail outlets by the end of the year, said the company.

Mobileye's driver-assist products are aimed at younger, inexperienced drivers and older drivers whose reflexes may be slowing down, as well as commuters who tend to multitask while driving.

The basic version of the product is a camera that mounts behind the rear view mirror on the windshield. Through a built-in microprocessor, it continually measures the distance to the vehicle ahead, the speed of the driver's car and the speed of the car ahead, and it uses software developed by Mobileye. Audible alerts are sounded if the driver leaves his lane unintentionally or if he is approaching the car ahead at too great a speed. Called the AWS-2000, it has a suggested retail of $900.

A step-up AWS-4000 adds a visual display that can be mounted on the dash, or elsewhere, at a system price of $1,500. It also adds visual “read outs” of the distance to the nearest vehicle.

Both products alert the driver 2.7 seconds in advance of a potential frontal crash. According to Daimler-Benz, a 1.5-second warning can prevent 90 percent of collisions, said Bob Bowe, eastern regional manager for Mobileye.

“If you consider the cost of just a slight fender bender to your wallet, it can easily more than pay for itself.” He said, “For young drivers who are learning driving habits, this is a tremendous training tool … It's never tired, it's never distracted and it's never looking away.”

The AWS-4000 may be installed in 90 minutes to two hours, said Mobileye.

Al & Ed's said it will stock Mobileye products, but Mobileye would not reveal the names of other retailers.

iSuppli estimated the driver-assist OEM market will triple over the next four years to nearly 60 million units. iSuppli plans to publish a study on the aftermarket driver assist market in the future, it said.

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