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Continental forward braking system to get stereo vision

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May 9, 2011

Continental has announced that its ContiGuard forward-looking braking system will now be e...

Continental has announced that its ContiGuard forward-looking braking system will now be equipped with two cameras, giving it stereo vision

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More and more, we're hearing about vehicle safety systems that use video cameras to identify hazards. Like us humans, automotive supplier Continental's recently announced ContiGuard forward-looking braking system has two eyes, in the form of two high-resolution CMOS cameras, and a suite of electronics that enables it to analyze the difference in perspective between the left and right views – similar to the parallax shift which our brains also use to create spatial vision when processing images.

The cameras in the ContiGaurd vision system are mounted 20 centimeters (8 inches) apart in a housing located behind the windshield. Unlike a single-camera system, say its designers, it can determine not only how far an obstacle is from the front of the car, but also how high that obstacle stands over the road.

The new ContiGuard stereo vision housing

By combining the two images and analyzing which aspects of them are the same and which are different, the system is also said to excel at recognizing objects even when several of them are close together, or in low light or poor contrast conditions. Details that may be questionable in one camera's image can be confirmed – or ruled out – by looking for those same details in the other image. In this way, it can more accurately identify things such as pedestrians or crossing traffic, even if the driver doesn't do so fast enough.

The new setup is also reportedly capable of determining in which direction every pixel of an object is moving, along the horizontal, vertical, and longitudinal axes. This allows it to calculate the exact point of impact with the object, and initiate braking procedures or alert the driver accordingly. It works at all speeds, has a 60-meter (197-foot) range, and can determine the location of objects to within 20-30 centimeters (8-12 inches) from a distance of 20-30 meters (66-98 feet).

In future versions, it is hoped that ContiGuard will be able to recognize obstacles such as children, cyclists and wheelchair users.

There's currently no word on availability.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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3 Comments

Or price,, how about drivers drive and stop playing with things in their cars be responsible and JUST DRIVE

Bill Bennett
10th May, 2011 @ 07:02 pm PDT

Well, as far as I know all such kind of emergency break systems failed in serious test so far...

Imhof Iván
11th May, 2011 @ 07:37 am PDT

This system would work well with the deployment of external air bags located in the front bumper in the event of an unavoidable collision. The purpose of these external airbags would be:

1. To lessen any injury of a pedestrian

2. To reduce damage to a vehicle due to collision with another car or hard surface

3. To reduce payment on insurance policies since the installation of the system would save on repairs in the event of a collision

4. To reduce injury or death to the driver and passangers since more of the collision energy would be absorbed externally.

Adrian Akau
11th May, 2011 @ 10:04 am PDT
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