Drivers Drive

New Sensor May Eliminate Blind Spots

Micron Image SensorCNET reports that Micron is launching a new sensor, called MT9V023, that can be used to improve vehicle safety. CNET's article includes this list of possible uses for the in-camera camera.
  • Volvo's XC90 SUV uses three cameras: one for backing up and two for monitoring the blind spots to either side of the car.
  • Cameras can be used to check for vehicles that are destined for a collision, telling the car to deploy air bags or tighten seat belts. The Hyundai Move in Japan uses this application, he said.
  • Another forward-looking camera can check if a driver is unintentionally drifting out of a lane, using an algorithm that factors in speed and how sharply the steering wheel is being turned to distinguish between unintentional drifting and deliberate lane changes.
  • Yet another front-mounted camera could keep an eye out for oncoming night traffic, automatically switching headlights between dimmed and high beams.
  • A camera mounted on top of the steering column can monitor the frequency and duration of a driver's blinks to guard against drowsy driving. If blinks become too rapid or protracted, the car can sound an alarm to jolt the driver awake.
  • An internal camera can help identify passengers to control how air bags should be deployed--for example, with less force when protecting children.
  • Another camera could let parents watch their children bicker in the distant reaches of a vast van or SUV.
  • There are lots of accidents caused by blind spots that could be avoided without them. The cameras mentioned above that monitor whether a vehicle is "unintentionally drifting out of a lane" could be used to wake a suddenly sleeping driver. These are just a few of the many uses for advanced cameras and sensors.

    Image: Micron

    Posted on October 2, 2007

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