To fence the growing number of traffic fatalities in Europe, Leopold Kostal is showcasing a camera-based driver assistance system with know-how from Infineon technologies at 2015 International Motor Show (IAA).
This system detects whether the driver is showing signs of drowsiness (nodding off) or is distracted. And the car instantly responds – with a vibrating seat or a warning tone, for instance. The less inattentive the driver gets, the more attentive the car gets. In order to respond quickly and accurately, the assistance and the emergency braking systems can automatically activate in advance of a potential emergency.
3D Camera keeps Watch over the Eyelids
The 3D camera uses infrared light and works even under changing light conditions or in the dark. It contains the Real3 3D image sensor chip from Infineon, which reliably records more than 100,000 pixels 50 times a second. For each pixel it simultaneously recognizes the distance and the brightness value.
The 6th sense: Stereoscopic vision thanks to REAL3 3D image sensor chip
The heart of the camera system is the 3D image sensor chip. It is based on the Time-of-Flight (ToF) principle, which measures the time it takes for the infrared light to go from the camera to the object and back. This time relay is directly related to the distance of the object. Compared to other 3D measurement methods, with ToF, the depth data is measured directly and doesn’t need to be determined via complex algorithms.
Autonomous and Semi-Autonomous Driving make Extras Important
Because of their high data quality, 3D ToF cameras aren’t in the vehicle just for detecting head position and blinking. They can be used for controlling infotainment systems or the air conditioning with hand movement or a body gesture. For example, the vehicle could set the airbags individually for each passenger. In addition, new assistance and safety functions outside the vehicle are possible, such as a door opening assistance that prevents you from bumping the car door against another car, wall or ceiling when parking at a commercial parking garage or at home.
Sharing insights on the new product, Frank Blaesing, Head of Innovation Management and Advanced Engineering at Kostal said, “For semi-autonomous or autonomous driving, the assistance system of the vehicle needs to know the state of the driver at all times.” “It needs to know if and how well the driver is informed about what’s happening on the road at that moment. This information is especially needed when the control over the vehicle needs to be turned back to the driver in a complex traffic situation.”
“We want to make driving safer for all road users,” added Jochen Hanebeck, who heads the Automotive division at Infineon Technologies. “Our chips help to reduce the number of serious road accidents. For us, the collaboration with Kostal is a significant contribution to assisted driving, with all its safety and comfort advantages.”