Bar-Ilan University’s technology transfer company Bar-Ilan University Research and Development Company (BIRAD) has formed a partnership with Electric Vehicle Evolution (EVE) Inc., a US-based developer of next generation electric vehicles, to promote its automated driving technology.
The aim is to integrate Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), developed by Bar-Ilan’s Prof. Eli Kolberg, into EVE’s electric cars.
The technology builds on Prof. Kolberg’s soccer robots, in which each player is fitted with a camera, a computer, gyro and accelerometer sensors, and independent motion capabilities, and is programmed with a software brain that controls it and allows it to communicate with its teammates.
Now, through the new partnership, the technology developed in Prof. Kolberg’s lab at the Bar-Ilan University School of Engineering is headed for the highway.
EVE vehicles will be equipped with the same technology that guides the robots, but, in this case, will assist drivers in keeping their distance from cars in front of and behind them, provide drivers with important information in advance and, ultimately, reduce traffic accidents with collision avoidance. This is known as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, or ADAS.
Integrated with the dashboard and the info-tainment screen, EVE uses a new user-friendly interface. EVE’s device will provide drivers with real-time information about the health and functioning of every aspect of their cars. Component warnings and failures, together with additional maintenance recommendations, are brought to the driver’s attention. Battery Management System (BMS) recommendations, including resource availability that will enable maximum integration of battery charging with the driver’s personal linked schedule will also be incorporated, and will be integrated with real-time traffic reports and other relevant information.
Within the partnership between Bar-Ilan University and EVE, the image processing technology and the artificial intelligence functionality developed in Kolberg’s lab for RoboCup participating robots, in addition to driving algorithms developed by Bar-Ilan University Prof. Gal Kaminka, will be adapted by EVE to develop autonomous cars.
Kolberg explains that the team soccer cooperation common among the robots, with regards to which robot will go for the ball and kick it, which one will block an opponent, which one will wait for its teammate to pass the ball to it and which tactics to choose according to the play state, will be adapted in order to enable cars to pass each other safely and within a reasonable time interval. So, too, with vehicles which identify traffic signs and act accordingly, obey traffic rules while performing turns, drive in roundabouts and so forth.
Next down the road for EVE is the development of inexpensive, autonomous interaction between vehicles for safe, efficient and effective driving, a project upon which the company has already embarked using Kolberg’s technology, which it has named Autonomous Numerous Tactical Systems (ANTS).
EVE founder and CEO Adam Tannenbaum said, “Just like you see ants working together along the floor as a team, such will be the case among automobiles in our autonomous future. EVE believes that connected vehicles V2V is the future of transportation.”
As part of EVE’s efforts in this direction it has joined the US Department of Transportation connected vehicle project (Dot project ITS.)
EVE Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer Henry Kauftheil said, “Eventually our device will be able to recognize surroundings and environments and take action, even activate the brakes if necessary. Autonomous cars and smart cars that can assist with driving, reduce traffic accidents, avoid congestion and save lives are just a short distance away.”
Kauftheil, no stranger to technology ventures and investing in Israel, is a technology pioneer and serial entrepreneur who has mastered the art of transforming groundbreaking technology into commercial success. Kauftheil saw in EVE a potential to commercialize another cutting-edge field of technology.
He said, “The automobile as we know it has been ripe for disruption for decades. Everyone thought BetterPlace was the answer, but the execution had problems. EVE has the right execution strategy, and with Bar-Ilan University’s ANTS technology, the sky is the limit.”