When it comes to driver awareness, we all know how hard it can be to keep an eye on every pedestrian and moving vehicle in our vicinity, particularly when driving in a busy city area. Couple this with the upcoming Kids and Transportation Safety Act in the US that dictates that all cars built from May 2018 onwards must be fitted with rear view cameras as standard, and it becomes doubly important that on-board vehicle cameras are used to their best advantage. To help in this regard, Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited is set to introduce software that assists in detecting and identifying cars, people, and other moving objects and alerts the driver of their position and direction of travel.
Using what Fujitsu calls its "Approaching Object Detection Library" in conjunction with a proprietary System-on-Chip (SoC) graphics device, the system uses the images captured by additional vehicle cameras to automatically detect nearby moving objects and compare them to stored representations to identify and categorize them.
This is achieved by using elements built into the Approaching Object Detection Library, where vehicle camera images are analyzed in conjunction with a detection algorithm that identifies approaching objects. These are then run with detection-error reduction processing to eliminate false positives. The resulting image is overlaid on real-time images collected through the vehicle's on-board cameras, and displayed on a dashboard monitor, providing vital information for the driver about the objects moving around them.
Though there are other systems available that aim to improve a driver's all-round vision, they still require constant monitoring and, given the increasing demands on drivers with all of the gadgets that vie for attention within the car, the AOD system may well do even more good simply by being unobtrusive.
The AOD library will be available in an evaluation version from this month, and will be shipped with an evaluation board that includes Fujitsu's graphics SoC. Release for commercial sale is slated for September this year.
Fujitsu will also be demonstrating this and other solutions at the 2014 Automotive Engineering Exposition, May 21–23 in Yokohama, Japan.