Pedestrians detected by vision and radar
Engineers at Volvo (Gothenburg, Sweden) have implemented a vision and radar system into the new Volvo V40 that aims to reduce injuries caused to pedestrians hit by automobiles.
The system can detect if a pedestrian steps out into the road in front of the car. If the driver does not respond in time, the car can warn him and automatically activate the brakes.
The system consists of a radar unit integrated into the car's grille, a camera fitted in front of the interior rear-view mirror, and a central control unit. The radar's task is to detect a pedestrian or vehicle in front of the car and to determine the distance to it. The camera determines what type of object it is.
Thanks to the radar's wide field of vision, pedestrians about to step into the roadway can be detected early. The system has been programmed to trace a pedestrian's pattern of movement and also to calculate whether he or she is likely to step into the road in front of the car.
In an emergency situation, the driver first receives an audible warning combined with a flashing light in the windscreen's head-up display. If the driver does not react to the warning and a collision is imminent, full braking power is automatically applied.
The system can avoid a collision with a pedestrian at speeds up to 35 km/h if the driver does not react in time. At higher speeds, the system reduces the car's speed as much as possible prior to impact.
-- by Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design