The Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) feature enables drivers to remain at cruising speed while keeping a safe distance from the closest in-path vehicle. While it is branded as a comfort feature, ACC actually enhances safer driving by reducing driver fatigue and minimizing accident prune situations. So far, ACC has only been available on premium-cars, due to the high cost related to supporting RADAR technology. The exponential growth of vehicles equipped with monocular front vision sensors, together with the technological advances of vision processing, is allowing for the introduction of the Vision-Only ACC (VO-ACC) implementation by Mobileye. The first VO-ACC was launched by BMW on the 2013 i3 vehicle. This system will also include a Stop & Go and traffic JAM assist capability. From 2014 and onward multiple car manufacturers worldwide will begin to offer the VO-ACC as well. The current view is that ACC should be available in every vehicle.
The underlying vision technology enabling VO-ACC is the same technology used in existing features such as forward collision warning and headway monitoring. The control of the vehicle required for ACC is based primarily on the range (distance) and range-rate (relative velocity) to the closest in-path vehicle. Extensive analysis has shown that Mobileye’s vision system provides this information, enabling smooth control of the vehicle. The VO-ACC has the added value of improved capabilities that only vision systems can offer, such as accurate lateral information about vehicles in front and the lanes model. This combination allows the VO-ACC to respond appropriately in curvy, rural, road scenarios, and creates a swifter and more driver-intuitive response to vehicles cutting-in and cutting-out in front. The latter effect is even more pronounced in the case of close cut-in vehicles, which is not currently addressed by today’s ACC. Other vision advantages include the detection of and response to standing vehicles and the ability to verify before initiating a “Go” command that the space in front of the vehicle is indeed free (e.g. – no pedestrian is crossing).
The first generation of VO-ACC makes use of a VGA resolution sensor. As such, it offers the full capabilities of ACC up to a speed of 140 KPH. With the added advantage of the new mega-pixel resolution sensor, the existing technology is able to extend the range of the vehicle detection and thus provide ACC up to any speed. The VO-ACC/Stop& Go is one of the key elements in the autonomous vehicle, currently being developed in Mobileye.