July 20, 2021
Tactile Mobility, which develops tactile data and virtual sensing technology, has announced the launch of a runover virtual solution that provides vehicles with the ability to identify in real time an initial runover of an object to prevent a full runover.
The software-only solution uses “sense of touch” technology to detect several different objects on the road of different heights, sizes, shapes, and materials – both organic and hard – such as a human body, road debris, and other objects, the company said. The virtual sensor then prevents the vehicle from running over the object, which could harm human life or damage the vehicle. The safety level virtual sensor will be added on top of the company’s Tactile Processor Platform, which already includes the company’s suite of virtual sensors such as grip estimation, tire health, surface sensing, and vehicle health.
Tactile Mobility said runover virtual sensors in both autonomous vehicles and vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) can help reduce the human death toll by sending signals to the vehicles that alert the car and driver at distinct stages of the runover. The sensors can allow vehicles to sense the road, identify the type of material under their tires and alert an initial runover, preventing vehicles from fully running over objects that could lead to a fatal incident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said hundreds of children are killed and thousands are injured every year in non-traffic crashes in parking lots, driveways, and private roadways.
“Tactile Mobility is always looking to build solutions that make the driving experience safer and more enjoyable for everyone,” said Shahar Bin-Nun, CEO of Tactile Mobility. “Now, for the first time, the automotive industry will have access to an affordable in-vehicle software solution that enables vehicles to identify what they might drive over and avoid potentially fatal accidents – a critical step in the development of autonomous vehicles. We are already working with a well-known OEM to bring the technology to the mass market, and look forward to expanding our collaboration to embed this safety sensor in autonomous vehicles of all levels to ensure road and vehicle safety for everyone.”
According to a 2019 survey by the American Automobile Association, three in four Americans are afraid to ride in fully self-driving vehicles. In order for self-driving cars to be trusted by the mainstream, they must be far safer than human-controlled vehicles, Tactile Mobility said. To achieve this, they must respond to vehicle-road dynamics just as – or better than – human drivers; not only must they see the road that lies ahead, but also “feel” the road friction, roughness, curves, grades, distresses, and objects in the road under their tires. The company said runover sensors enable vehicles to sense the road and react to obstacles, hazards, and vulnerable objects, in order to significantly mitigate any damage.
The company’s systems include software-based tactile sensing and data solutions, which include an in-vehicle module that resides on one of the vehicle’s computers, and a cloud-based system. The software collects first-order data gathered from a vehicle’s built-in non-visual sensors, including wheel speed, wheel angle, RPM, paddles position, gear position – and then analyzes it to yield insights in real time. The data can be beneficial to many sectors due to availability, accuracy, and quality – from road planning and management, to tracking tire conditions and wear, and even for insurance purposes.
To learn more about Isreal-based Tactile Mobility, visit its website here.