Image sensors target automotive applications

APRIL 9, 2009--Image sensors with high dynamic range, together with powerful processors and sophisticated algorithms, are enabling a new generation of vision-based systems for automotive applications.

APRIL 9, 2009--Image sensors with high dynamic range, together with powerful processors and sophisticated algorithms, are enabling a new generation of vision-based systems for automotive applications. These systems can detect and distinguish objects in a wide range of lighting conditions.

"The introduction of in-car video cameras is opening up new application areas for driver assistance systems," says Bernd-Josef Schaefer, vice-president of the driver assistance systems business unit at Robert Bosch (Stuttgart, Germany; www.bosch.com). "As each new functional enhancement appears, the car is gradually learning to see."

Vision systems are helping automakers differentiate their vehicles on the basis of safety. The rear vision camera system on the General Motors (Detroit, MI, USA; www.gm.com ) Buick Enclave, for example, has a caution symbol that changes in size and color to draw the driver's eye to the closest detected object.

Systems are looking inward as well as outward. Saab, for example, is developing a driver attention warning system that uses infrared cameras on the driver's door and the center console to record and analyze eye movement. The system sounds audible and visual alerts if the driver's eyes close for longer than a normal blink. If the driver's condition persists, audible warnings become more urgent and the driver's seat vibrates.

For more information, go to: http://autoelectronics.com/security_safety/active_safety/vision_quest_image_sensors-0227/

-- Posted by Conard Holton, Vision Systems Design, www.vision-systems.com

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