Satellite cameras provide more visibility around the car : Page 2 of 2

December 04, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Cameras provide more visibility around the car
Automotive technology company Continental has bundled previously separately operating cameras distributed in the vehicle to form a complete system: Multiple so-called satellite cameras deliver precise image data that are processed and evaluated by a central control unit. This modular system enables numerous new functions to support driving comfort and automation.

Computer vision systems include intelligent front cameras that not only detect traffic signs, traffic lights, lanes or obstacles, but can also recognize and evaluate them. The driver then receives the appropriate acoustic, visual or haptic information and warnings - for example, if the car threatens to leave its lane. The camera can also be used as an emergency brake assistant: If the system detects another road user in front of the vehicle, it automatically initiates emergency braking in order to avoid a collision as far as possible. Continental expert Semmler announces that this intelligence will no longer be linked to the front camera alone, but to several satellite cameras. The system will implement functions that automatically brake the vehicle even when reversing, for example if it comes too close to a person behind the car.

If all four satellite cameras, which in any case permanently record the car's surroundings, are connected to a central control unit that can evaluate the image information and trigger the corresponding functions, remote or valet parking functions can also be implemented. The driver can then get out, and the vehicle finds its way into the gap by itself at the push of a button and parks in and out again.

Parking is a good example of how Continental's new satellite camera system has a modular design and is scalable in terms of performance and functionality. From the purely optical support of the driver by means of a 360° all-round image of the vehicle environment to automated parking to a completely autonomous parking process after the driver has already left the vehicle, all stages of parking support can be implemented by the system.

Currently, satellite cameras with an image resolution of 1.3 megapixels are being installed on the car, a new camera generation with a resolution of 2.5 megapixels and distinctive night vision features is about to start series production. And for future applications, Continental is already developing a camera with 8 megapixel resolution as the next expansion stage. With these high-end cameras, it will be possible in the future to replace the classic rear-view mirrors and interior mirrors. They not only deliver a sharp image, but also the necessary data to detect a motorcyclist approaching quickly from behind early and precisely, even in difficult lighting conditions. In such a case, the system could warn the driver or prevent the vehicle from changing lanes as planned.

Networked satellite cameras not only depict reality, they also evaluate the optical information in combination with a central control unit and support an appropriate response. Not only the camera technology is decisive, but also the central computer unit Assisted & Automated Driving Control Unit (ADCU) in combination with the appropriate software.

At CES 2020, Continental will present its latest automotive innovations and technologies in a private exhibition area in the Renaissance Hotel.

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