MobilEye: New advanced camera system with ZF

MobilEye, the Israeli company acquired by Intel a little over a year ago for over $15bn, has entered into a strategic partnership with ZF to provide a new camera system (ZF S-Cam 4) to a major automotive manufacturer. The contract is reportedly the largest automotive camera contract in ZF’s history.

According to the press release issued by ZF, the new camera system will allow vehicles to comply with the increasingly stringent requirements of the euroNCAP organisation (roughly speaking, the European equivalent of NHTSA). NCAP's latest pedestrian protocol, effective 2020, includes a pedestrian triggered automatic emergency braking (AEB) and a crossing bicycle AEB test. 

ZF's S-Cam4 family includes a single lens, mono-camera. The camera also comes in a premium, three lens Tri-Cam4 version capable of aiding advanced semi-automated driving functions. The premium model adds a telephoto lens for improved long-distance sensing capabilities and a fish-eye lens for improved short-range sensing with a wider field of view. 

The German automotive safety component supplier abides by a SEE-THINK-ACT approach: their products enable autonomous cars to “see” the surroundings through environmental sensor technologies, “think” through powerful processing units employing Artificial Intelligence, and act through intelligent mechanical systems.

Interestingly, in an interview with Automotive News in November 2017, ZF's executive Vice President explained how development of strategic partnerships with other manufacturers/suppliers is key during times like this. ZF has recently partnered up with NVIDIA to develop ZF ProAI, an NCAP-compliant, artificial intelligence system.  

We’re in a period of unprecedented change . . . The answer is not to develop everything organically, nor always to buy another company, but to form alliances and collaborations
— Peter Lake, ZF TRW Executive Vice President for Sales and Business Development - Automotive News
Andrew Kyprianides