"This field is moving towards automated driving of vehicles, in which the driver doesn't have to touch the steering wheel. I have a car like this, and I've been driving with no hands for a long time. You'll be able to buy vehicles like this quite soon," Mobileye(NYSE: MBLY) co-founder and chairman Amnon Shashua told the "Calcalist" conference today.
Shashua explained what Mobileye's system did, and commented on the entire field of accident prevention. "This field is moving towards standardization, and this year was a significant breakthrough. Every auto manufacturer who wants a four or five-star safety rating needs active accident prevention systems."
He added, "Israel is a world power in computer vision: in research and the universities, and it has more than 100 startups in the sector," Mobileye, which deals with active car networks for preventing traffic accidents, recently held the largest IPO ever by an Israeli company, and currently trades at a company value of $8 billion.
Shashua said, "When I talk about computer vision, I don't mean a camera that documents; I mean a camera that provides information. The day isn't far off when we'll all have a camera designed not for documentation, but to understand the world around us and generate value. I'll give two examples: the first is Mobileye, and the second is OrCam."
OrCam Technologies Ltd. is another company that Shashua founded. Based in Jerusalem OrCam raised $20 million from Intel Capital earlier this year. It also operates in the computer vision field, making camera-equipped spectacles for shortsighted people. "OrCam produces a camera attached to eyeglasses, a camera that transmits information to the user through audio means. For example, it tells the user what number bus is coming; whether a traffic light is red, green, or yellow; and even reads him a newspaper article," Shashua declares.
Founded in 2010, OrCam is now in a pilot with 250-300 users. Shashua says it will begin selling its products by the end of the year. "We expect a real revolution in this field within 18 months," he said, noting that the target audience for his product consists of 350 million people. "These are people who are blind, and those whose problem ordinary eyeglasses can't solve. The day isn't far off when shortsighted people will wear a device that can explain to them what they're seeing," he says.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 2, 2014
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