PORTLAND, Ore.--Parking assistance systems that give drivers a 360-degree view of obstacles around them are currently only available on high-end models, but Freescale Semiconductor Inc.--working with engineers at BMW--claims to have created a technology capable of reducing the cost enough to make them standard equipment.
"Freescale and BMW have cooperated on the definition of a new generation of Qorivva 32-bit microcontrollers, which we believe will enable surround-camera parking assistance systems to migrate to a broader range of vehicles," said Allan McAuslin, product marketing manager of safety and chassis microcontrollers at Freescale.
Key to the new microcontroller technology is its ability to compress the video from up to five cameras mounted on an automobile’s four corners--plus a backup camera--then stitch the images together in to a complete 360-degree image that can be displayed on the dashboard (usually in a donut-shape). Built on the Power Architecture, the new 32-bit Qorivva MPC5604E eliminates the need for costly individual video cables (at $10 each) by sending all image data over a single Fast Ethernet in-vehicle network.
Using compressed JPEG images, the Qorivva microcontroller is able to use a single cheap two-wire Ethernet cable to send the time-stamped video using the Autosar realtime operating system. As a result, BMW aims to debut the technology in its lower-end models. Freescale is also working with other automobile makers worldwide to assist them in switching to compressed video over Fast Ethernet, eventually hoping to make 360-degree parking assistance systems standard equipment on most models.
Freescale's new Qorivva 32-bit micro controller based on an e200 Power Architecture core has hardware JPEG video compression and Fast Ethernet to cut the cost of 360-degree view parking assistance.
Seems interesting, considering that it is quite a big step from the single rear camera that we have in cars right now. If they can really mass produce this technology without significant hikes in production costs, I can really see it in many cars in the near future.
As a Pilot of many years I have watched and taken advantage of much of the new technology. I have found it very helpful and GPS changed the way we fly and our situational awareness. However, when things go wrong, and they sometimes do, it is good to know how to had fly the bugger without all the aids. Having said this, if it saves one little kid from getting run over then it was worth it, just remember to be look out with or without the system
Likely a neat idea for a new car. A brand new Volvo XC90 was impossible park by using old-school skills. It needed a backview camera.
Due to trends in car exterior design, 360deg view capability will make possible in a 2015 model year BMW, what you could do much easier without technology in a 1985 BMW: Parallel park, or back-out of your drive way.
If the electronics in my 2007 BMW are any indication, we could all be in for a fun ride when all these gadgets get older than 4 years...
I've seen RFQ's for this project from multiple automotive part mfg's over the last three years. The detail left out in the article is that the 'camera view' displayed on the dash has been translated (digitally)from the camera's horizontal view to a top view around the car. The difficulty from the camera design side is what to do with all the heat from a small fast ethernet output camera (about 1W.)
You guys have to stop watching so many Terminator movies! BMW is not talking about implanting these things into your eyes or cortex. The skill set is constantly changing in your jobs, so why can't you accept that it is changing for driving technology as well? I welcome a day when being safe on the road does not depend on an operator's skill.
I cant agree more! Yes, we are automating ourselves to obsolescence! We are automating, 100 people did what was once done by 1000 people, 10 people did what was once done by 100 people, now 1 person can do what 10 people did. Tomorrow even that one person is not needed, Robot will do that. Last nail in the coffin, you see ;)
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.