Ford Taps Israel’s Mishor 3D for Augmented Reality Navigation
Ford has tapped Israeli startup Mishor 3D to bring augmented reality navigation systems to its future car models.
Mishor 3D develops a technology that projects navigation routes, road safety alerts, and places of interest onto cars’ windscreens so that the graphics seem to appear as if they’re on the road itself.
To do so, Mishor 3D uses Head-Up-Display systems that project digital images onto either the windscreen or a glass mounted to it.
Current HUD systems in cars can project graphics either directly onto the windscreen or to a glass mounted in front of it.
Ford is paying Mishor and undisclosed sum to tailor the technology to Ford’s cars, and is considering rolling out the augmented navigation systems with both high-end and mid-range models. HUD systems are expected to be featured in mid-range car models around 2016.
Mishor 3D’s system uses geo-location data and accelerometer sensors to determine where on the windshield to position the graphics – lines, arrows, or any other symbols.
Alongside the navigation route itself Mishor 3D’s system can present the driver with points of interest, like nearby restaurants, gas stations and cash machines, by placing symbols over nearby buildings.
Founded in 2011 by veterans of Israel’s military industries, Mishor 3D, a private company, has secured $3 million in funding from Horizons Ventures and Blumberg Capital. It currently has an operational working prototype of the system, and the company said it seeks partnerships with other car manufacturers and automotive electronics suppliers.
Kobi Ben-Zvi, Mishor 3D’s co-founder and CEO, said augmented reality navigation systems are safer than GPS consoles and smartphones hooked up to windscreens because they do not require drivers to take their eyes off the road.
Ben-Zvi also said augmented reality navigation systems can pinpoint destinations by sign-posting buildings or other landmarks.
“No more guessing where the exact building I’m looking for is– you just see it in a clear sign superimposed on the building,” he says.
Ford is currently collaborating with 15 other Israeli tech companies, said Zeev Aleyraz, Ford’s technology scout in Israel. Aleyraz said Ford wants to establish a research and development presence in Israel close to one of the country’s academic institutions, but no concrete date has been set yet.
Ford’s collaboration with Mishor 3D is the latest sign that Israeli tech companies are increasingly being tapped for new automotive technology.
Israel-based Mobileye, a developer of chips used in driving assistance and automated driving systems, recently went public. The company’s current market capital of over $10 billion makes it Israel’s second biggest tech company. Mobileye’s chips are used in Tesla’s Model D automated driving systems.
Source: Wall Street Journal